Futsal review: December/January

FIFA.com’s first in a regular series reviewing Futsal action across the globe takes a look at a new Futsal Development Programme that has commenced being rolled out with El Salvador and Guatemala the initial recipients. Qualifying for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 has begun while December also saw the inaugural Women’s Futsal world tournament staged.

Futsal highlights
FIFA’s Education and Technical development department has started 2011 with a renewed commitment to Futsal development. Two courses, one in El Salvador and another in Guatemala, were organised during January. The two nations have been hosting the pilot phase of FIFA’s new Futsal coaching programme with Futsal extremely popular in Central America. The courses, led in El Salvador by Vicente De Luise, former national coach of Argentina’s Futsal team, and in Guatemala by Javier Lozano, twice FIFA Futsal World Champion in 2000 and 2004 as Spain’s national coach, saw the unveiling of FIFA’s new Futsal coaching programme. Participants were provided with the new FIFA manual for Futsal coaches, as well as a teaching DVD, with the new resources expected to provide invaluable support for Futsal coaches and players around the world.

Development
In December and January, FIFA courses were organised in four continents. In the Middle East, Futsal is fast becoming a high priority, with seven courses organised in five different countries, including a course for female Futsal coaches and referees in Kuwait. Coaching and refereeing courses were also organised in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman, as well as Qatar.

In other parts of the world, Bolivia has carried out another coaching and refereeing course after a successful first edition in 2009, while San Marino trained their local coaches and referees before taking part in their first ever qualifiers for the UEFA Futsal EURO. Meanwhile, Serbia has organized training of their referees prior to the commencement of the second half of their Futsal season.

Futsal across the globe
December saw the first ever Women’s Futsal world tournament staged with eight participating nations, namely Brazil, Portugal, Thailand, Venezuela, Guatemala, Japan, Russia and Spain. The tournament was hosted in Spain with Brazil triumphing against Portugal in the final.

The Preliminary Round of qualifiers for the UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 in Croatia concluded in late January with Turkey, France, FYR Macedonia, Norway, Finland and Latvia all progressing to this month’s final stage of qualifying.

The city of Bern, in Switzerland, played host at the end of December 2010 to a four-nation tournament with Malta, a South Germany selection, Belgium and the hosts participating. Belgium claimed the honours by defeating the German team 4-0 in the final.

Finally, the first ever Moroccan Futsal National Championship took place in early January, with Shabab Khourigba winning the final against Sebu Kenitra. The coaches participating in this competition are set to benefit from a coaching course scheduled for later this month.

They said
“We are proud to be the first federation that benefits from the new Futsal coaching programme. I can assure you that the expertise provided by FIFA will fall on fertile ground and contribute to further develop Futsal in El Salvador,”
Carlos Mendez Flores Cabezas, President of the El Salvador Football Federation

“The new Futsal teaching manual and DVD will be useful tools for Futsal coaches all around the world and help to unify the philosophy conveyed in all FIFA courses,”
Javier Lozano, former head coach of Spain Futsal team and FIFA Futsal instructor

Coming up
The month of February will see courses for coaches and referees take place in Morocco and Belarus. On the competition side, the qualifiers for the UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 will continue with the qualifying round scheduled for 24 - 27 February. The group winners and five best runners-up will progress to the final tournament, where they will join hosts Croatia, who have automatic entry.