FIFA Futsal World Championship Draw in Barcelona on 27 September
The draw for the final competition of the 3rd FIFA Futsal (indoor football) World Championship will be held in Barcelona on Friday, 27 September. The setting will be the Sant Jordi Palau in Barcelona where the ceremony will start at 8.30 p.m.
Sixteen teams, split into four groups of four, will compete in the World Championship in Spain from 24 November to 8 December 1996. Apart from defending champions Brazil and the hosts, Spain, the following teams have qualified so far: China, Iran, Malaysia, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia and the Ukraine. The representatives from Africa and CONCACAF have yet to be decided.
The match schedule has been arranged so that two groups will contest the first round in each of the towns of Murcia and Segovia. Those teams coming first and second in each group will be split into another two groups and go on to contest the next round in Castellon de la Plana before the four best teams advance to the semifinals and finals in Barcelona. The complete fixture plan is attached.
Brazil are the hottest favourites, having won the first World Championship in the Netherlands by beating the hosts 2-1 in 1989 and defended their title successfully in Hong Kong in 1992 with a 4-1 victory over the USA. Most of the players are indoor football specialists playing in their own leagues organised by their respective national associations.
The futsal referees are also specialists. From among a total of 104 match officials featured on the current international list, the FIFA Referees' Committee has designated sixteen referees to Spain '96 ( see the attached list ), who will officiate either as main or assistant referees. They will be helped by timekeepers who make sure that the full 20 minutes of effective playing time are actually played in each half.
The Futsal Laws of the Game issued by the world governing body stipulate that the pitch is marked with goal lines and touchlines and not surrounded by rebound boards. Some of the other rules for this type of football provide for a one-minute time-out for each team in each half, "flying" substitutions, limited time punishments and harsher sanctions for accumulated fouls.