The road from Netherlands to Guatemala
One of the innovations among FIFA's world competitions is the world championship for indoor football, popularly known as futsal. Brazil proved to be the dominant force at the first three series, winning in Holland in 1989, Hong Kong in 1992, and Spain in 1996. There were also fine performances from less established football countries for whom the 5-a-side version offers a welcome opportunity to promote their domestic game and shine in the international spotlight.
Although FIFA acknowledges the importance of futsal as a game in its own right, it has resisted the temptation to diverge too far from the principles of 11-a-side football, designing the rules to ensure continuity with the classic outdoor game.
As ever new variants of football evolve, FIFA is currently paying particular attention to beach football as well as to football for the disabled.
LAWS OF THE GAME - Summary
- 2 x 5 players on the pitch
- 2 x 20 minutes of play per match
- no clock stoppage for substitutions
- penalty and second penalty kicks
- the goalkeeper is allowed to play all over the pitch
- the goalkeeper can throw the ball beyond the halfway line with no further restrictions
- accumulated fouls: the sixth direct free kick is taken from either the second penalty mark or even closer
- each time is allowed one time-out in each half
- it is all about speed and entertainment!
FIFA is convinced that futsal is and will continue to be an important and attractive component of football. While 46 countries took part in the qualifying competition for the 1996 Futsal World Cup in Spain, 70 associations entered for the qualifying stages for Guatemala 2000.
FIFA's aim is to promote futsal, to make it more popular still and to train its representatives.
FIFA will also be launching a number of futsal projects. The Laws of the Game, dating, back to 1995, were revised in 1999. They have been in effect since 1 January 2000.