Futsal instructors from around the globe came together in Spain in a bid to increase their abilities in spreading the game through the sharing of ideas and analysis to help build on the game's growing popularity.
More than 30 experts in the sport descended on Madrid across four days in April, as the Spanish Football Federation hosted the seminar, which was aimed at developing the skills and know-how of the instructors.
Led by Graeme Dell of England and Spain's Javier Lozano, they looked to focus on the lessons learnt from the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 and the UEFA Futsal EURO Belgium 2014, as well as including practical sessions and the exchange of regional approaches.
Building on the previous seminar held three years ago, Dell believed the latest meeting had an even greater impact on attendees. "The participants felt that the seminar improved from the last one in 2011, so that's down to FIFA's vision for what the seminar was aimed to achieve," he reflected.
Of those that took part, there were representatives from each of the six confederations, who were entrusted with sharing some of their development activities from grass-roots level, all the way up to those used with elite futsal.
Paul Toohey, who attended on behalf of the OFC, said: “I felt very privileged to be able to present some of the outstanding futsal projects in countries such as Tahiti, New Zealand, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, while also highlighting the emerging futsal nations like American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.”
“I also spoke about the vital part futsal can and does play in the OFC Player Development Pathway. Futsal is now part of the OFC D Licence and Grassroots programmes and increasingly we are asking our Member Associations to consider futsal as a regular activity in their Development Centres and Centres of Excellence. And to extend their football seasons with futsal.”