Monday, 7 October 2013|
Spain will start their bid for a fifth straight European title against two recent semi-finalists following Friday's UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 draw in Antwerp.
In the ceremony – conducted at the Centrum Elzenveld by Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA competitions director, and former Belgian international footballer Marc Degryse – Spain were placed in Group D with Croatia, who made the semis on home soil last year but lost to the holders in 2014 qualifying, and 2010 bronze medallists the Czech Republic.
Hosts Belgium will open the finals on 28 January against Romania and are joined in Group A by two-time runners-up Ukraine. The last two beaten finalists, Russia and Portugal, are in Group B with the Netherlands, appearing for the first time since 2005.
Italy, the only country other than Spain and Russia to have won the tournament, play Azerbaijan and Slovenia, with all three Group C teams having topped their main round sections to avoid the play-offs, from which Croatia, Romania, Ukraine and the Netherlands emerged last month.
The group stage will be held at the Lotto Arena between 28 January and 2 February before switching to the adjacent, larger Sportpaleis for the knockout phase over the following six days – for which the first two sides in each section qualify.
Group A: Belgium (hosts), Ukraine, Romania
Group B: Russia, Portugal, Netherlands
Group C: Italy, Azerbaijan, Slovenia
Group D: Spain (holders), Czech Republic, Croatia