An online meeting featuring representatives from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) was conducted on Thursday (August 19, 2021) to discuss the development of futsal in India.
It was attended by Mr. Ali Targholizadeh, Head of Futsal and Beach Soccer, AFC; Mr. Jacob Biggs, Development Officer, AFC; Mr. Aziz Kifah, Development Officer, AFC; Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF; Mr. Savio Medeira, Technical Director and Head of Coach Education, AIFF, Ms. Swati Kothari, GM (S&O) & International Relations, AIFF; Mr, Sunando Dhar, Leagues CEO, AIFF, amongst others.
Mr. Das expressed the AIFF’s intention to develop and grow Futsal and Beach Soccer in India. He averred: “Futsal is one of the fastest-growing sports and we are looking to initiate Futsal activities when the situation allows. We are also looking forward to conducting the National Club Championship in October/November in Meghalaya. We thank AFC for the meeting on Futsal and for their continued support over the years in developing Futsal in India.”
Mr. Targholizadeh acknowledged India’s potential in Futsal and Beach Soccer development. He discussed the role of Futsal in the development of skilful and world-class football players, giving examples of past and current great players.
He also explained how small-sided games of futsal help players to be creative and make quick decisions on the field and the importance of coach education in the growth and development of the players in the game. He shared case studies of countries like China and Malaysia, who have created a great impact on futsal by introducing futsal coach educators in the countries.
“India has huge potential to be a Futsal and Beach Soccer powerhouse in Asia,” he said acknowledging India’s potential.
Mr. Savio Medeira thanked Mr. Targholizadeh for sharing his thoughts on Futsal development and detailed the progress of futsal and beach soccer coach education in the country.
Mr. Sunando Dhar spoke about the development of the National Futsal Club Championship, which is being planned to be conducted in Shillong in October/November 2021, and also sought the potential of the winning club to participate in the AFC Futsal Club Championship. Mr. Targholizadeh acknowledged the importance of an Indian Futsal Club being part of the AFC Competition in the future.
The attendees were also briefed about the progress regarding the development of Futsal in various states, including online coach and referee education, and State Club Championships, and AIFF’s intent to initiate Futsal grassroots activities for children, schools and colleges.