13 June 2018

South African Futsal Federation Receives Full Affiliation from the AMF

Submitted by Jody

South African Futsal Federation receives full affiliation from the World Governing Body of FutsalThe Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF) is the governing body of World futsal. It was founded on 25 July 1971 as the Federación Internacional de Fútbol de Salón (FIFUSA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 1 December 2002, the organization changed its name to Asociación Mundial de Futsal.Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. Futsal started in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of indoor football for recreation in YMCA.The Sport was founded to contribute to positive social change as there were not many grass soccer fields available at this time. We now find ourselves in a similar situation due to climate change and the situation with regards to football fields .In 1965, the Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol de Salon (South American Futsal Confederation) was formed, consisting of Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.The sport began to spread across South America, and its popularity ensured that a governing body was formed under the name of FIFUSA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol de Salón) in 1971, comprising Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay, along with the World Championships.

The first FIFUSA World Cup was held in São Paulo, with hosts Brazil crowned champions ahead of Paraguay and Uruguay. Even more countries participated in the second World Cup held in Madrid in 1985.The AMF and its respective confederations organize futsal tournaments around the world which predate the respective tournaments organised by FIFA and its confederations. The AMF Futsal World Cup, which was first staged in 1982, is held every four years.A women's world cup was first staged in 2008. In 2017 the Brazil women's team became the first non-host nation to win the world championship. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper.

Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor fives, the game is played on a hard-court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller, harder, low-bounce ball. The surface, ball, and rules together favour ball control and passing in small spaces. On the 12th of May 2018 the AMF World Body of Futsal hosted the 11th World Futsal Congress in Asuncion Paraguay, 57 Presidents of various Futsal Federations around the World attended the eventOne of the Highlights of the event was the talks between Italy & South Africa and the initiation of an annual friendly championship between the 2 countries namely the “Nelson Mandela Futsal Cup”.The catalyst of this partnership was conceptualized as the late Nelson Mandela, whom was the founding father of the nation of South Africa, was good friends with the Mayor of Lainate in Italy Milan  Due to this friendship and love for South Africa the Mayor named the state of the art futsal arena after Nelson Mandela namely the “Centro Sportivo Nelson Mandela Lainate” (or locally as it locally stands known as the “Centro Sportivo Comunale "Nelson Mandela").The Mayor officially opened the arena on 16/10/2016 and our goal is to host an annual friendly for men, women and disabled teams at the Arena. This will be one of the many positive and innovative social projects the federation will administer and arrange.

The South African Futsal Federation (SAFF) was organised two years ago, in September 2016. The Federation was founded to bring the internationally ever popular sport of futsal, to the South African shores. SAFF was founded to break new grounds and introduce a short-sided version of football that is played all over the world. The status of 5v5 in South Africa does not offer individuals as much exposure as futsal does; in comparison to other countries where the AMF Leagues are established. There are various other forms of 5 a side football in South Africa but the AMF is what they call original and pure futsal. It also has its own rules. Thus, players can now compete on the world stage in various cups and tournaments including world cups in Men’s, ladies, boys under 17, under20 and mini world cups around the world The federation has been two years in the making following last year's May attendance of SAFF members to the Men’s Intercontinental Cup in Barcelona, Spain.

That journey saw SAFF receive temporary 2-year affiliation to the world body of the sport, and it was the beginning of tedious work and a quest to receive full affiliation to the highest body in the world of futsal. Our mandate in May last year, was to bring over a lady’s futsal team to compete in the Ladies World Cup in Balageur, Spain which was a first ever for South Africa. The task proved challenging as the sport was new to our country and people, it was met with reluctance, but the challenge was met and SAFF was able to field a female’s team and compete with the best in the world. CTMFL (Cape Town Metropolitan Futsal League) was created last year as the introduction of the sport was conceptualized by a duo residing in the Western Cape. CTMFL has organized to run a weekly men’s super league with 16 teams hosting highly competitive individuals playing top flight futsal and many other initiatives. We have started expanding our national footprint with leagues in starting in Durban,Soweto,Port Elizabeth,Springbok,Ehhurleni and various other towns and schoolsA women’s league will gradually be introduced as well to grow the sport in the Western Cape where the numbers of female football/futsal players are minimal compared to other countries.

With the inception of the Cape Town Metropolitan Futsal League, we have consecutively rolled out the sports marginally to both primary and high schools of which we host futsal holiday clinics and developmental programmes. The growth and exposure of the sport through marketing and road shows has spiralled to other parts of the country which has seen another 9 leagues form within South Africa. The magnitude of this development will definitely foresee success in the sport and the participation of South African citizens on a global stage for a very long time. The South African interest is at prime peak due to the fact that members now know that have the eligibility to represent their country and play internationally in a sport that have no political governance. Last month, the president of SAFF flew out to the AMF headquarters in Paraguay, to attend the World AFM Congress. All affiliated federations were in attendance at this gathering where SAFF received full affiliation by DR. Alarcon himself.

The president of AMF was overly impressed with SAFF and the contribution they made to the futsal sport in such a short period of time. SAFF was pleased with the prestigious recognition and effortlessly pledged to keep the South African Flag flying high. To date SAFF is preparing for their UNDER 20 boys national trials for the World Cup, taking place in Colombia in November. Consecutively our men’s leagues are in full operation nationally to anticipate growth of the sport and possible selection for the senior Men’s World Cup in Argentina in 2019.We want to use Futsal to make an impact everywhere and anywhere , To get involved:Visit our website www.safutsalfed.co.za or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Sports Range