National Futsal Championship in July to feature 16 teams

Lahore, 13 March: “FIFA has been injecting a lot of effort to develop Futsal around the world. As Futsal is such a dynamic sport, the officials of this powerful organization preview a huge popularity for the sport. They are dedicating special attention to legitimize it as an Olympic Sport. The arrangements are in full swing to launch National event for Futsal on Pakistan soil,” said PFF’s Secretary General Lt.Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi. The event’s inaugural edition was allotted to Islamabad’s Liaquat Gymnasium from 21-25 December 2010 but in order to avoid clash with soccer matches of hurriedly-arranged 31st National Games at same city, it was postponed for seven months.

Brazil stars Zico and Socrates (1986 World Cup)

Brazil is estimated to have more Futsal players than football players. The game is eulogized for the number of star footballers it has nurtured. The origin of Futsal can be traced back to Montevideo in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani devised a five-a-side version of soccer for youth competitions. Once Ceriani got the ball rolling, Futsal gained rapid popularity throughout South America, particularly in Brazil. The skill developed in this game is visible in the world-famous style the Brazilians display outdoors on the full-sized field. Pele, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto and other Brazilian superstars developed their skill playing Futsal.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has approved 16 teams Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Punjab, Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, FATA, Pakistan WAPDA, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), Pakistan Army, Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Pakistan Air Force and Chaman’s Afghan FC for the event. The coming show was inducted in PFF Football Activity Calendar 2011 during PFF Congress at Lahore’s FIFA Football House on 28 December 2010.

First National Futsal Championship will be held in second week of July 2011 under the auspices of the PFF who asked all the heads of provincial/regional Association and organizations to form concerned committees for the registration of futsal clubs. After the completion of National Futsal Championship, PFF will form National Futsal team, followed by AFC Futsal Level-One Coaching Course in October or November.

While explaining about the game, PFF Director Operation Wng Cmdr ® Pervaiz Saeed Mir said,” Futsal is a format of five-a-side football that is played extensively throughout the world. The term ‘Futsal’ is an abbreviation of the Portuguese ‘futebol de salão’ or the Spanish ‘futbol sala’, both of which translated literally mean ‘indoor football’.It is played on a pitch approximately the size of a basketball or netball court with a ball which is smaller and heavier than the outdoor football and has a reduced bounce.”

The bid documents for hosting rights of National Futsal Championship are already been circulated to all provincial/regional units as well organizations affiliated with PFF.

It is interesting that Futsal on Pakistani soil came through females four years ago when Pakistan Women Futsal team took part in the event at Aman’s Qasr Arriyada Hall in Hussein Sports City and earned Fair play trophy in third Amman Women’s Football Futsal Championship. Jordan Football Association (JFA) hosted the event at Jordanian capital of Amman from 11-16 May 2006.