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Futsal continental qualifiers start

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CAIRO — The road to Africa’s qualifiers for the Fifa Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 begins this weekend with Zimbabwe hosting Sudan in the first leg of the preliminaries.

A total of 13 teams will be competing to secure Africa’s tickets, which will be played in three stages; preliminary, first round and second round.

The African qualifiers are based on a knock system, played home and away, which will produce three top teams to participate in the Fifa Fustal World Cup taking place in Thailand from November 2 to 18 2012.

Zimbabwe, one of two teams to represent Africa in the first Futsal World Cup in 1989, will put their experience into action as they host debutants Sudan in the first leg. The winner of this two-legged encounter will face South Africa in the second round.

The 13 participating teams are Zimbabwe, Sudan, Gabon, Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroon and Libya.

As the qualifiers get underway, the team’s ambition will not be limited to just winning Africa’s ticket, but to better previous performance in the world level.
Egypt holds Africa’s best record in the World Cup, reaching the second round in Guatemala 2000 after losing narrowly to Argentina. A win would have guaranteed them a place in the semi-finals.

Previous Africa’s representatives in the Fifa Futsal World Cup:
• Netherlands 1989: Zimbabwe and Algeria
• Hong Kong 1992: Nigeria
• Spain 1996: Egypt
• Guatemala 2000: Egypt
• Chinese Taipei 2004: Egypt
• Brazil 2008: Egypt and Libya
—All Africa

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