12 Teams Gearing Up for UEFA Futsal Euro 2018
The UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 kicks off on January 30th and this year it will be up to a total of 12 teams to battle it out for a place in the finals. This year it will be up to Slovenia to play host and the country will also be first up against Serbia on January 30th.
Teams have each been allotted a place in four groups. The groups are:
Group A: Slovenia (hosts), Serbia and Italy
Group B: Russia, Poland and Kazakhstan
Group C: Portugal, Romania and Ukraine
Group D: Spain (current title holders), Azerbaijan and France
It’s been an eventful run up to the Futsal, with Slovenia up for a meet with the last team to have lifted the trophy at home, being the admirable Italians. That having been said, this was back in 2003 and a lot has changed since then.
Then of course there’s Russia, who beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in the 2016 Group Stage before both went on for a score and a place. Russia ended up in second place, and Kazakhstan in third. It’s been a lucky break for Poland, who are playing in their first finals since 2001.
France will arguably be facing the toughest challenge of all, being first-time qualifiers for this year’s tournament and having to go first up against the current title holders, being Spain.
Full Swing: Referees Preparing For UEFA
Europe’s Futsal referees have been a busy bunch indeed and training for the UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 is in full swing. A total of 18 referees will ultimately be selected to do the most exciting dirty work on the planet.
More than 30 referees signed up for the job, travelling to host country Slovenia in order to attend fitness assessments, protocol workshops as well as theoretical and practical training. UEFA Futsal refereeing instructor Petro Angel Galan Nieto has confirmed that all referees had taken the FIFA test and will be considered eligible depending on their results.
He also said that the aim of the training sessions was to ensure that the referees were adequately trained and equipped in order to take charge of the matches at the highest levels. Speed and agility were at the top of the eligibility list as these were the two most important factors to consider with the tournament in mind.
Futsal uses a two-referee system and as such the men’s ability to work together in a team was also assessed.
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