Javier Rodríguez Nebreda (born 26 March 1974), commonly known as Javi Rodríguez, is a Spanish futsal player currently playing...
Futsal and the Olympics – The next phase of growth
Futsal will not be at the London 2012 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected the 2012 bid because of the absence of a women’s futsal world cup. FIFA fixed the problem in 2010 when Brazil hosted the Inaugural Women’s Futsal World Cup, it must be noted that the AMF held theirs in 2008.
Many Clubs and Countries from all over Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Caribbean including Pacific Islands like Australia and New Zealand are all campaigning for Futsal to be introduced in Rio 2016. Countries like Colombia, Chile, Brazil, England, Spain, Mexico and many more along with Futsal main body FIFA have been on this trail since the early 90′s and still have not had any success.
It all seems a bit silly when you consider that the indoor game is played in 100 countries under the amateur banner, but we should not forget the sport is played professionally in leagues in over 60 countries; Brazil, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, France, USA, Switzerland, Canada and Russia.
FIFA injects a lot of money and effort to develop this dynamic sport and the popularity is impressive. The Italian Olympic Committee have acknowledged over 4 million people play the indoor sport, compared to the one million that play the outdoor version of the game. The IOC should also consider 30 million players of both sexes world wide in 100 countries. Japancan not keep up with demand, EnglandandPortugalhave introduced the Futsal as a sport in schools and Universities.
Since 2006 Columbia and other countries like Chile, Poland, Mexico and Angola along with many others have been campaigning for Futsal to be in the program of Olympic Games in Rio 2016. This was backed by United States Futsal CEO Alex Para in 2009 when he told the world that there was four kinds of Olympics – the Special Olympics, Winter Olympics, Pan-American Olympics and the Olympics. He stated that the “Pan-American Olympics are for the western Hemisphere fromArgentinatoCanada. It took 23 years to fight for Futsal to be in these Olympics and last year (2008) Futsal became a Pan-American Olympic sport”.
For such a fun sport, futsal has become a political hot potato as it tries to expand its reach. It seems to threaten soccer traditionalists who have blocked the game from finding a wider audience. Futsal is football in its purest form, with sharp passing, cannon-like shooting and brilliant, diving saves.
Futsal will be in the Pan-American Olympics inTorontoin 2015, while we won’t see Futsal in London 2012, but come Rio 2016 Futsal with FIFA and the world population pressuring we hope the IOC will make every country happy and the fight for recognition will be over and the next phase of growth for the sport can begin.
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