Futsal in England

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On the 28 May 2012 The F.A announced their new proposal to bring in a new player pathway for football to include a mandatory 5v5 format of football for U7s and U8s and a 9v9 format for U11 and U12s to be phased in by season 2014-15.

So what does this mean the common man asks…? Well in 2005 The F.A were being asked the question why is football in this country so poor? The answer was contact time with a ball! Under the previous player pathway players with less ability had less touches of the ball thus creating more players with lower technical ability. The jump from 8v8 to 11 a side was a big step to soon and something that in other countries is not practiced. What is practiced in other countries at grass roots level is Futsal, futsal is a small sided game originated in Uruguay in 1930’s and further developed in Brazil in the 1940’s. It’s played with a size 4 ball that is weighted to reduce the bounce as it is an indoor sport. Some of the world’s best players have grown up playing the sport (Pelé, Sócrates, Zico, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Robinho, Christiano Ronaldo) and have attributed their skills to playing futsal at a young age. In futsal players get twice as much contact time with the ball refining and improving technique. I myself as a coach have noticed the technical difference with players that have played futsal and those that have not. On my numerous trips to Portugal I can honestly say that children in the UK are considerably miles behind with regards to technical and tactical ability.

So 5 years on from the F.A’s Skills coach initiative are we any closer to improved ability and the nationwide implementation of futsal? It’s hard to tell at this moment in time but the fact is I still find myself explaining to players and parents what futsal is and the long term benefits of the game. Whilst blame never solves anything questions have to be raised such as since futsal is the clearest way of improving players why is it not part of the sport curriculum in schools? Is futsal not commercially marketable enough for the F.A to financially back? Rather like the poultry £1 million a year invested in the WSL (woman’s super league) and so on and forth.

The EFT (England futsal team) was formed in 2003 and England was one of the last major sporting nations in Europe to have a national team. Although In 2001 the first futsal league in England was formed by the Pendle Futsal League based in Lancashire the F.A only started a recognised futsal league in 2008! Which was also the inception of the F.A. Umbro futsal youth festival now called the F.A. national youth futsal festival. This futsal festival expects up to 80 teams to be competing which is progress indeed, just couldn’t help wonder if there was more media backing this could be a more beneficial for the country. And just in case you was wondering there is a National Blind Futsal League currently but no woman’s league apart from in the Liverpool county which has a division 1 and 2 which Everton Deaf Ladies have a team in.

FA Futsal Fives 2012 winners/county

Hemel Youth – Hertfordshire

Tranmere Victoria – Liverpool

Tranmere Ladies – Liverpool

Chasing Shadows FC – Liverpool

Sport London E Benfica Futsal – Middlesex

Kettering Futsal Club Black – Northamptonshire

Team Bath Development – Somerset

One-Touchables – Somerset

Hyde Park & Woodhouse Futsal – West Riding

FA National Futsal League 1 winners/region




FA National Futsal League 2 winners/



FA National Blind Futsal League winners

West Midlands Blind Centre of Excellence

Related links.

FA National Futsal League


FA Futsal Fives Middlesex


Sport London E Benfica win Futsal title


FA Futsal Fives Liverpool Women


FA National Blind Futsal League


Futsal Wikipedia


Futsal – Small-Sided Football


Futsal – UEFA.com


England 3-1,4-1 Switzerland – Goals, highlights and interviews

England v Denmark Futsal 25-26 May 2012 | FATV

Written by

Joe Spesh

For Current World Media


2 responses to “Futsal in England

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