History of Futsal
The first record of an organised five-a-side brand of football dates back to 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The same year the pioneering football nation hosted the first FIFA World Cup™ at its brand-new Estadio Centenario, an Argentine-born coach by the name of Juan Carlos Ceriani, so tired of rain-soaked pitches and cancelled training sessions, brought the game indoors for the first time. With an eye to making his new indoor game more accessible, but also more organised, he put together a set of rules strikingly similar to those that govern futsal today. The children of Montevideo took to the small-sided game with aplomb, and it was played in YMCA houses throughout the capital. The hybrid version was perfectly suited to either outdoor or indoor venues, as all that was needed was a small, basketball-size court.
Hazy origins While Ceriani was fostering the game Uruguay, a similar small-sided game was being played on the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil. The game quickly spread throughout South America as ‘futbol sala’ (room football, or indoor football) or ‘futebol de salao’ in Brazil – where the first local leagues sprang up like weeds.
Going global It didn’t take long for the game to spread to every corner of Latin America, and the first international futsal competition kicked off in 1965. And in a bit of a shock it was Paraguay that got off the blocks best, taking home the first South American honours. Brazil won the next six Championships between 1965 and 1979. The yellow-clad pioneers of the five-a-side art then went on to extend their dominance with victories in the 1980 and 1984 Pan American games. With a lesser number of players, a smaller field and a weighted ball, futsal demanded the emergence of new strategies. Quick feet and a quick mind were imperative, as was the use of the toes and the bottom of the foot. The International Federation for Futebol de Sala (FIFUSA) was officially founded in Brazil in 1971 and the first Futsal World Championship (though not yet affiliated to FIFA) took place in 1982 in the five-a-side hotbed of Sao Paolo. Continuing their stranglehold on the game, Brazil again took the honours with a team studded with stars from the outdoor game. They then went on to repeat their winning ways in Spain three years later in 1985, before losing their crown in Australia to rivals Paraguay. 1989 FIFA World Championship in Holland 1992 FIFAWorld Championship in Hong Kong 1996 FIFA World Championship in Spain 2000 FIFA World Championship in Guatemala 2004 FIFA World Championship in Chinese Taipei 2008 FIFA World Championship in Brazil 2012 FIFA World Championship in Thailand
FUTSAL IN AUSTRALIA Futsal was introduced to Australia in 1972 by Dawn Gilligan, then working at the Revesby YMCA. The year before was a wet soccer season and Dawn had heard about Futsal ‘indoor soccer’ and introduced it to the centre. The sport slowly spread to the other states. Australia has staged a National Futsal League in the past. Plans are well on the way for a revamped National Futsal League governed by Football Federation Australia.
FUTSAL IN QUEENSLAND Futsal first started at Murgon, in the South Burnett in 1981 and started in Brisbane at MacGregor in 1984.