Malta was drawn in Group C of the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup Preliminary Round together with France, Lithuania and Albania. The draws for the Preliminary and Main Rounds were held in Nyon on Thursday.
Lithuania will be hosting the mini-tournament from which the winner would move to Group 5 of the Main Round together with the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Kazakhstan.
The 22 top-ranked sides were excused the preliminary round. The remaining 23 teams – including World Cup debutants Denmark, Gibraltar, Sweden and Wales – were split into four seeding pots by coefficient. Five groups contained one team from all four categories and one contained three nations, from each of the top three categories.
Three countries already assigned as mini-tournament hosts were placed in each group according to their seeding but kept apart. The remaining three groups will need to decide who is hosting the qualifying tournament and, should no agreement be found, UEFA will proceed to a draw in due course to determine the organisers of these pools.
The top two teams in each of the seven main round groups will progress to the play-offs (group winners drawn against runners-up), which will decide Europe’s qualifiers for Colombia.
Preliminary round draw
Group A: Georgia, Moldova, Andorra, Gibraltar
Group B: Greece, Montenegro, Sweden, San Marino
Group C: France, Lithuania*, Albania, Malta
Group D: Latvia, Armenia, Cyprus*, Estonia
Group E: Israel*, England, Denmark, Wales
Group F: Finland, Bulgaria, Switzerland
Main round draw (*hosts)
Group 1: Ukraine, Hungary*, Belgium, winner Group E
Group 2: Croatia*, Azerbaijan, Belarus, winner Group B
Group 3: Russia, Serbia, Turkey*, winner Group F
Group 4: Spain, Netherlands*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, winner Group D
Group 5: Czech Republic*, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, winner Group C
Group 6: Portugal*, Romania, Poland, Norway
Group 7: Italy*, Slovakia, FYR Macedonia, winners Group A