The Men’s and Women’s Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments Buenos Aires 2018 represented a historic landmark for the sport: not only was it the first time that futsal had been included in the Olympic programme, but it was also the first-ever FIFA women’s futsal tournament.
The Grassroots and Youth Department, part of the FIFA Technical and Development Division, has now drafted a Youth Futsal Development Report, sharing important points of analysis on Buenos Aires 2018.
“This report was written to identify key areas of development to be focused on for both genders within the 15 to 18 age category,” FIFA Beach Soccer and Futsal Development Manager Brent Rahim told FIFA.com.
“More importantly, as this is a critical period in their technical, tactical, physical and psychological development, we used the opportunity to analyse these areas in competitive tournaments for this age group, and that analysis can now be used by our member associations for youth futsal development purposes.”
Two highly regarded FIFA futsal instructors played a key role in the report: Spain’s Javier Lozano and England’s Graeme Dell were also part of the Technical Study Group (TSG) for the events in Buenos Aires.
“We believe it’s very important to raise awareness among associations of the need to put in place futsal development plans for their youth categories of both sexes,” Lozano, a two-time world champion as Spain coach and the current president of the country’s national futsal league, told FIFA.com.
“The report provides a real understanding of the needs and shortcomings of each association in terms of development. This data is key for FIFA to be able to work on programmes and materials that can assist the associations,” continued Lozano, who advised Argentina on behalf of FIFA on the launch of its national league, whose successful first edition is now considered a model for other countries in the region to follow.
Dell, who has played a key role in the growth of futsal in England, highlights similar aspects. “It’s a useful tool to recognise the status of youth futsal all over the world. Developing the next generation of players and coaches is key to the sport’s evolution.”
He then went further, saying: “The report highlights the need to give development and training programmes an age-specific focus, where the needs of young players are met by specialists in futsal at that age, all backed by a knowledge-based guide.”
By way of a concrete example, Dell said: “The report shows that for boys and girls to enjoy futsal at any level, they must first possess basic technical knowledge, and only afterwards must complex tactical approaches be applied to team play, since the two facets are intrinsically linked.”