First-ever certified playing surfaces at FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™
The FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ is the first Futsal competition to offer FIFA-certified playing surfaces to the 24 participating teams from around the world. All three competition arenas in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda are certified according to the FIFA Quality Programme for Futsal surfaces.
Behind the scenes: A comprehensive quality system for Futsal surfaces
Nothing should be left to fate when it comes to the organization of a major tournament such as the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ in Lithuania. One of the many details that guarantee a great event is the scene where the players will perform: in this case this is the futsal court.
The FIFA Quality Programme for Futsal Surfaces offers a comprehensive testing protocol to provide safe and high-performing surfaces for players across all competition levels. Based on the well-established quality standard for artificial playing surfaces, the test consists of two parts. The product identification ensures that the product that was ordered meets the specifications from the laboratory test. The second part is a field test of the installed surface to evaluate how the court performs when interacting with the ball or a player. If both meet the criteria set out, the court is certified to the FIFA Quality standard.
Further guidance is provided through the programme by identifying a list of manufacturers that offer Futsal Surfaces that meet the requirements as well as providing an overview of all FIFA-accredited Test institutes.
The surfaces installed at the three venues used for the World Cup have been tested prior to the start of the tournament to the standard and were certified after meeting all the requirements. With that the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ is the first tournament being played on FIFA-certified Futsal Surfaces.
A quality system available to all competition organisers
Given the multisport use of indoor playing surfaces, it is in the interest of the FIFA Quality Programme that certified futsal courts can continue to be used for other sports. Therefore, the standard is designed in a way that different construction methods, such as Point Elastic, Area Elastic or Combined Elastic surfaces, can be tested and certified. In addition, special requirements with regard to design, e.g. for pitch markings, are waived.
FIFA also puts a special emphasis on the strategic cooperation with FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) and other tournament organisers in order to continuously develop the quality requirements and thus make safe playing surfaces available to as many athletes as possible.