After many long years in the shadows, futsal has finally taken off in Germany. Last weekend in Gottingen witnessed the inaugural DFB Futsal Cup with eight teams contesting the coveted title. And it was UFC Munster, winners of the West German League who ran out winners.
In a thrilling final, Munster defeated hosts SVG Gottingen 07 3-1 on penalties after the match had finished 0-0 after normal time. The third place play-off also went to spot-kicks after a goalless draw, Eintracht Frankfurt prevailing 8-7 against SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen.
In the semi-finals, Munster narrowly defeated SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen, champions of the Lower Rhine league, 2-1, while Gottingen also had to come through a close-fought affair, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0.
Other participants in the tournament were North German champions RSV 05 Gottingen, South-West representatives SVC Kastellaun, the second southern team SB 1860 Rosenheim and North-East contingent FSV Grun-Weiss Blankenhain.
The opening day of the tournament on Saturday provided spectators with ample entertainment, delivering 30 goals in eight group games. The most prolific team were Lower Rhine champions, SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen, who won both of their games 3-1 against South-West representatives SVC Kastellaun and North German champions RSV 05 Gottingen. Uerdingen went into their final first round game leading Group A and, despite a 2-0 defeat to South German champions, Eintracht Frankfurt, were still able to progress to Sunday morning's semi-final.
Matchday two on Sunday provided another feast of goals; 23 to be precise. The most emphatic win of the tournament belonged to SVG Gottingen 07 who recorded a 9-0 thrashing of FSV Grun-Weiss Blankenhain. The DFB Futsal Cup was played in accordance with FIFA rules. Each team could field four outfield players and a goalkeeper, with matches lasting 20 minutes.
On FIFA's official indoor football variant, Deutscher Fussball-Bund (DFB) Director Willi Hink declared: "Futsal is gaining increasing international recognition, with numbers participating in international tournaments growing continually. In the DFB Futsal Cup, we have taken the first steps to establishing Futsal in Germany."
The DFB Futsal Cup should play a leading role in reaching three objectives, as Willi Hink explained: "We want to introduce indoor football according to official FIFA rules under the auspices of the DFB. From a wider footballing perspective, the low-bounce indoor Futsal ball makes the game easier, particularly for beginners and older players, while Futsal also places great emphasis on fair play. Finally, competitive football can also benefit since the challenge of playing with an unfamiliar ball places particular demands on co-ordination and technical ability."
DFB Director Hink cited Brazilian World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho and, in particular, his team-mate Robinho as two perfect examples: "Both learned to play football through Futsal. That should say everything about the benefits of Futsal in promoting young talent."
Eintracht Frankfurt - RSV 05 Gottingen 3-1
SVC Kastellaun - SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen 1-3
Eintracht Frankfurt - SVC Kastellaun 1-4
RSV 05 Gottingen - SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen 1-3
Eintracht Frankfurt - SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen 2-0
RSV 05 Gottingen - SVC Kastellaun 4-3
SB 1860 Rosenheim - SVG Gottingen 07 1-3
FSV GW Blankenhain - UFC Munster 1-5
SB 1860 Rosenheim - FSV GW Blankenhain 3-0
SVG Gottingen 07 - UFC Munster 0-0
SB 1860 Rosenheim - UFC Munster 0-0
SVG Gottingen 07 - FSV GW Blankenhain 9-0
SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen - UFC Munster 1-2
SVG Gottingen 07 - Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0
Third place play-off
SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen - Eintracht Frankfurt 7-8 on penalties
UFC Munster - SVG Gottingen 07 3-1 on penalties