The Official Emblem for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 was unveiled today, 29 September, in a festive event at the Hotel Dann Carlton in Cali. The eighth edition of the competition, scheduled to be played from 10 September to 1 October 2016, will take place in the Colombian cities of Cali, Medellín, Bucaramanga and Ibagué.

Among those present were Ramon Jesurún Franco, chairman of the Colombia 2016 Local Organising Committee (LOC); Luis Bedoya, deputy chairman of FIFA’s Futsal Committee and the chairman of the Colombian Football Association (FCF),  Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco, Mayor of Cali, Andrés Botero, Coldeportes Director, and Osmar Fonnegra, coach of the Colombian national team, among others. The event was hosted by Melina Ramírez and José Fernando Neira, presenters from Radio Cadena Nacional (RCN).

Jesurun Franco was first to address the audience. "We are very happy with the effort of the municipal authorities that made it possible for four cities to host this competition. Today, less than 365 days from the tournament, we have here in Cali a venue that will host the national team of Colombia. The World Cup starts today with this event, and with it we tell the country and FIFA we are ready," said the chairman of the LOC.

Then, it was Bedoya who took the stand. "To give you an idea of the importance of this form of football, since the first FIFA Futsal World Cup in 1989, this will be only the second time there will be 24 national teams that will play 52 matches in 23 days. Colombia has been on board on this evolution: in 2011 we had the league for the first time with 12 teams, and now we have 16 sides. Besides, big companies and their brands have joined us. In Colombia we also breathe futsal", said the chairman of the FCF.

After a few words from Botero, who transmitted a message from the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, and a video about the four cities that will be the venues of the tournament, it was Velasco who delivered a message. "I feel satisfaction, pride and joy that Cali was chosen as a venue. This city has extraordinary sports scenarios, supports the leagues and its athletes, and counts on fans that attend massively to sports activities. The sports unifies and surpasses barriers, something is needed in the world, and specially in Colombia", said the Mayor of Cali.

Official emblem and look of the tournament
The moment everyone was waiting for came via another video, which formally launched both the emblem and the design imagery that will accompany the tournament.

The Official Emblem embodies Colombia’s rich history, traditional culture and unique landscape.  The design, based on the shape of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Official Trophy, takes a fresh direction with a fluid and abstract form and features the three colours of the Colombian national flag.

The base represents the two seas that meet the country’s coastline – the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The body comprises the rugged peaks of the Andes and the ancient culture’s sacred Yurupari flute. The ball on top includes a human element, showing the country’s rich cultural diversity from ancient civilisations to the vibrancy and warm hospitality of the Colombian people today.

The design of the Official Look evokes the festive, carnival atmosphere and diverse mix of culture that Colombia and its people are known for. The visual elements of the look represent the rich cultural, geographical and historical diversity of the South American country.

Utilising a vibrant mix of colours from the country’s national flag and its lush, tropical landscape, the design features patterns and forms inspired by indigenous tapestries, pre-Columbian art and the wealth of homespun handicrafts and textiles that Colombia is famous for. Also represented is the country’s breath-taking geography and fauna, from the rugged mountains of the Andes to the luscious green rainforest and the azure Caribbean Sea.

The presentation of the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 Winner’s Trophy was a highlight of the final moments of the event, which closed with a musical spectacle as the salsa choke group "Califlow" performed their popular hit "Ras Tas Tas".