June 24, 2021

Futsal: CONCACAF’s flourishing indoor sport

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FEAT-Glucosoral-082014vUESbbAction from the CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship game between Glucosoral and UES (white jersey) on August 14, 2014, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Juan Meoño)

MIAMI – Fast paced, precise and skillful are among the numerous words used to describe the sport of futsal, which continues to gain in popularity throughout the world, but most especially in CONCACAF.

This fact was never more evident than at a recent workshop dedicated solely to this version of football – led by FIFA and CONCACAF futsal expert Vicente De Luise — held in San Jose, Costa Rica.

From November 5-8, representatives from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States enjoyed the occasion to learn from a true coaching legend, as well as others vital to expanding futsal’s footprint.

The comprehensive program was highlighted by presentations on topics such as development, growth opportunities, marketing, intricacies of the sport and international matches.

“It is a version of football that contains an enormous amount of technique, immense speed and more goals,” said De Luise in reference to the magic of futsal. “Moreover, the fans are closer to those taking part in the match, creating a great ambiance.”

De Luise has compiled an exceptional resume. Known as an innovator in his native Argentina, he led the country’s national team at two World Cups and has also worked extensively in Italy, Thailand and Chile.

The 58-year-old made a point to stress that futsal provides playing opportunities in areas that lack open spaces and offers players another way to develop their footballing talents.

“In addition to creating a unique spectacle for those in attendance, the football played in reduced space will compete alongside other indoor sports such as basketball, volleyball and more,” De Luise commented.

CONCACAF’s commitment to the development of futsal in the region is deep. In 2014, the first-ever CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship was held in Guatemala.

As many of Member Associations grow or start leagues, playing, coaching and front office employment opportunities will follow. And that is one of the reasons why investment in futsal will ultimately yield positive results on and off the court.

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