On the eve of the final of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004, FIFA General Secretary Dr Urs Linsi held a press conference with Ricardo Terra Teixeira - the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the FIFA Futsal World Championship and Chang Chan-Wei - General Secretary of the Chinese Taipei Football Association. FIFA.com brings you a record of what was said.

Chang Chan-Wei:
This is the first time Chinese Taipei has hosted an international sports event of such a high level, either in scale or criterion. We are all very happy as everyone of us has learned a lot from this FIFA Futsal World Championship.

I believe the experience we have gained and knowledge we have learned during this FIFA tournament, without a doubt, will spark more attention and interest in football and further benefit football development in Chinese Taipei.
 
Therefore on behalf of all members of LOC, I would extend our whole-hearted thanks to FIFA for having given us the chance to stage this FIFA Futsal World Championship. We will cherish what we have learned in this tournament to further carry forward football development in Chinese Taipei in the future.

Ricardo Terra Teixeira
It has been a very good championship. Yesterday we saw two great semi-finals and hopefully tomorrow we will have a very good final. It has been a great promotion for futsal and I hope this finish to the tournament matches how well it's gone so far.

Urs Linsi
Welcome to the media here in Chinese Taipei. It's a pleasure for me to be here. I have often been asked why did FIFA award the Futsal World Championship to Chinese Taipei because it is a country where football and particularly futsal do not play a major role. That is part of FIFA's development work - so we don't want to just hold events in traditional football nations - we want to take our sport also to parts of the world in which football does not yet play a dominant role. I say not yet because this is our target for football to play a dominant role all over the world. In Chinese Taipei it's only one example of this kind of FIFA development work. Thailand which recently hosted the Women's U19 World Championship is another. We can state that the tournaments in both countries were successful and this vindicates our decisions.

I congratulate not only the Chinese Taipei Football Association for it's work and I have mention the country's political authorities who have also worked in a exemplary fashion for this event. Also the hospitality and help from the local population have also contributed to these positive impressions. When we ask the teams, the coaches, the officials, the partners, the media we have only had words of praise for this event and its organisation - I think it is also important and I'd like to state here because again if we do this kind of development then of course it is always a special challenge and we are fully aware of the special challenge, but I have to say that this challenge here has been definitely taken.

So from a sporting point of view, if we compare to Guatemala 2000 I have noticed a significant improvement in terms of technique and especially tactics. The established football nations may still be dominating this sport but the so-called minnows have closed the gap. Compared to four years ago we have seen fewer goals in Chinese Taipei and the outsiders have not suffered so many heavy defeats. That is more proof that there is little difference between the big and small teams. Teams like Brazil and Spain are still dominating futsal but not to the extent that they once were and I think this is good for futsal. From this point of view, balance is a positive thing. 

On the selection of Chinese Taipei for this championship:
When we are organising a tournament we send out a circular letter to all the member associations and if they like they can apply for it. Then it is an internal process and finally a process of the FIFA Executive Committee and I only can state that the choice was to go to Chinese Taipei.

There were a lot of criteria in a bidding process - infrastructure, accommodation, transportation, everything related to organising a tournament will be evaluated and there is always an inspection report on each bid and these are presented in a summary to the FIFA Executive Committee which finally takes the decision.

On players changing nationalities
This is not only a question in today's world -remember Di Stefano. We have other famous players who had the opportunity to change their nationality and become stars and earn their living in other countries and apply for nationality. It has to be clearly stated that there are rules and regulations for a change in nationality based of FIFA statutes and for players wishing to change their nationalities it has to be according to these rules and regulations placed on the statutes.

All association have made their player list to FIFA for each tournament. We released the official player list for this FIFA Futsal WC's in good time - the 16 teams have had an opportunity to lodge a protest about the list until 5 days before the start of the tournament. Everyone has known the players and no protest has been lodged.

On futsal becoming an Olympic sport
This is a decision for the IOC, but the summer Olympics programme is very full. For us futsal would fit very well in the Winter Olympics because it's indoor - in principle there is more space in the Winter Olympics programme than the summer.

On Asian development
We were criticised when the World Cup was played in Korea and Japan - many people said it would be a disaster with regard to the TV audience and empty stadiums. Korea and Japan proved that Asia is ready for football and into the future Asia will be a very important partner in the world of football.

The development of football in Asia is amazing and I think to hold the World Cup in Korea and Japan has given a boost and confidence to the Asian people that they are absolutely competitive in regard to organisation and on the pitch and this was important.

On the potential of China
In qualification all the decisions are taken by the players on the pitch so China failed to qualify for 2006, but for me, and this is a personal view, China will come back and I am absolutely convinced that in the near future they will be a major player in this sport. I am convinced that all the necessary steps will be taken to bring the Chinese to be one of the leading football nations of the world. They have huge potential.

On the futsal seminar
It's really important that we have a seminar with all the world experts on futsal attending. Proposals can then go to the Futsal Committee and then to the Executive Committee. We have seen a huge improvement in the women's game and progress in futsal too since Guatemala. I believe in the further progress of futsal.