Bengaluru, July 13: Futsal is a variant of the game football, played between 2 teams, 5 players each preferably in a indoor stadium on a hard surface.
It is an exciting fast paced game which is recognised officially by UEFA and FIFA. The association of Futsal is Asociación Mundial de Futsal or AMF as it is popularly known as.
Futsal originated in Uruguay in 1930, when an Argentine physical education teacher Juan Carlos Ceriani, associated with the YMCA, introduced a shorter version of football inside an indoor campus for the recreation of YMCA members.
As time progressed the game became more and more popular mostly in the South American countries. Currently the governing body AMF has 58 member (nation) and 6 continental members. In the history of the game, a multi-national futsal franchise based tournament will be hosted in India which kick-starts it's campaign on 15th July.
The 6 confederations of Futsal are:
South America: Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol de Salão (CSFS)
North and Central America: Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Futsal (CONCACFUTSAL)
Europe: European Union of Futsal (UEFS)
Asia: Confederation of Asian Futsal (CAFS)
Africa: Confédération Africaine de Futsal (CAFUSA)
Oceania: Confederation Futsal of Oceania (CFSO)
The AMF conducts an AMF Futsal World Cup in every 4 years just like the FIFA Football World Cup.
The game of Futsal involves great amount of technical skill and abilities. It nurtures the football proficiencies of budding footballers and help them to improve in the larger canvas which is the 11-a-side game.
Several star footballers have played futsal in their youth, namely Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pele, Lionel Messi, etc.
To quote the great Brazilian Pele: "Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing....also for dribbling, balance, concentration.... Futsal was very, very important, no doubt."
Rules of Futsal
1) Length of a standard futsal field should be minimum 25x16m, maximum 42x25m
2) A size 4 ball must be used with a circumference of 62-64 cm and weight between 400-440g at the start of the game. If dropped from a height of 2m, the first rebound of the ball must not be lower than 50 cm or more than 65 cm.
3) A futsal match is divided in two halves with 20 minutes of game time and 15 minutes break. Similar to Basketball, each team is allowed to use one time-out per half, which lasts one minute.
4) The match squad consists of 12 players with 5 starting the game. All the players can be utilised during the match with unlimited substitutions.
5) Fouls and card system is similar to that of football.
6) A goalkeeper is allowed to hold the ball for no longer than 4 minutes. Breaching the rule the referee will award an indirect free-kick to the opposition.
7) Kick-in rule is unique in futsal. It is basically an alternative of throw-in.
8) Penalty kick is taken 6m from the center of the goal for fouls inside the 6m goalkeeper's area.
9) Free-kicks are taken from the spot of the foul commited or on the line of the penalty area nearest to the foul (indirect only). All opponents must be at least 5m away from the ball.
10) In case of international matches there must be three referees. The first referee is positioned on the touchline near the timekeeper table and communicates with the timekeeper. The second referee is in the opposite side of the field. At the timekeeper table there is a timekeeper and a third referee, who controls the teams' benches.