Yesterday, the live draw for the groups for the European women’s deaf futsal championship took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. The groups will be:
- Group A: Denmark, England, Turkey, Hungary
- Group B: Russia, Belgium, Ireland
- Group C: Poland, Norway, Switzerland
- Group D: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Spain
The championship is scheduled to take place from November 19 to November 29 in Sofia. Sofia hosted the first European championship back in 2002, and this year’s edition will be the fourth time the event has been held. Russia won the last two editions, while Germany won the first one. Russia, Germany and Denmark have been traditional powers in the women’s game, holding all the medal spots since the event’s inception except for the 2006 Russian hosted edition when England won silver, and the 2002 edition when Portugal won silver.
Group B should be easy for Russia to advance out of, because Ireland is currently unranked in Europe and Belgium is ranked seventh. Russia is currently the top ranked European team. Denmark looks to have a bit more difficulty in their group on paper. Currently ranked third in Europe, they face off against sixth ranked England, thirteenth ranked Turkey and unranked Hungary. Germany may have the hardest time of it. Currently ranked second in Europe, they take on eleventh ranked Sweden, tenth ranked Italy and unranked Spain who will be making their debut in the competition.
The men’s draw took place at the same time as the men’s and women’s competition have always run concurrently since the competition’s inception. The groups for the men will be:
- Group A: Bulgaria, Italy, Belgium, France
- Group B: Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Croatia
- Group C: Ukraine, Denmark, Belarus, Moldova
- Group D: Turkey, Switzerland, Israel, Hungary
Unlike the women’s game, no country is particularly dominant, with six different having medaled in the past three editions with Croatia taking the inaugural gold medal, Russia winning the 2006 edition, and the Ukraine winning the most recent edition.