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Futsal World Cup 2023: Teams, Schedule, and Predictions

Futsal is a football-based game played on a hard court like a basketball court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football and indoor football.[1]

Futsal comes from the Portuguese futebol de salão and from the Spanish fútbol sala or fútbol de salón (all translatable as "indoor football"). During its second world championships held in Madrid in 1985, the Spanish name fútbol sala was used. The World Futsal Association registered the name futsal in 1985, following a dispute with FIFA over the name fútbol. Since then, futsal has become the officially and internationally accepted name, and FIFA has also started using the term.

futsal game

Originally developed for basketball courts,[7] a rule book for the new sport was published in September 1933. Association football was already highly popular in the country, and after Uruguay won the 1930 World Cup and gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics, it attracted even more practitioners. Ceriani's goal was to create a team game similar to football that could be played indoors or outdoors.

The YMCA spread the game quickly throughout South America. It was easily played by everyone, everywhere, and in any weather condition, helping players of other sports stay in shape all year round. These reasons convinced João Lotufo, a Brazilian, to bring the game to his country and adapt it to the needs of physical education.

Shortly after, a tournament was organized. It attracted some interest in South American media, which regularly began to follow futsal. In particular, it was the Brazilian journalist José Antônio Inglêz who passionately contributed to the rapid spread of the game, as well as being credited as the man who coined the name "futsal".[8]

The two most important governing bodies of futsal are the Asociación Mundial de Fútsal (AMF) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). AMF is the successor organization to the original governing body. FIFA later took an interest in futsal. However, talks between FIFA and AMF to reconcile governance were not successful. FIFA organizes its own separate competitions.

The International Futsal Alliance (IFA) is a partnership of countries formed to offer high quality futsal tournaments throughout the world. It sees itself as ancillary rather than competing with FIFA. Its membership spans countries from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Several tournaments have been organized under the auspices of IFA, including a world cup for men held in 2019 and one for women held in 2017.[10]

There are currently two governing bodies: Asociación Mundial de Fútsal (AMF) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) which are responsible for maintaining and regulating the official rules of their respective versions of futsal.

FIFA publishes its futsal rules as the 'Laws of the Game', in which each of the 17 'laws' is a thematically related collection of individual regulations. The laws define all aspects of the game, including which may be changed to suit local competitions and leagues.[11]

Many of the laws are similar or identical to those found in association football, or reference association football in their absence (such as a section noting that there is no offside infraction in futsal). These rules are subjective and differ from tournament to tournament.

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In some competitions, the game cannot end in a draw, so away goals, extra time and kicks from the penalty mark are the three methods for determining the winner after a match has been drawn. Away goals mean that if the team's score is level after playing one home and one away game, the team which has scored more away goals wins. Extra time consists of two periods of five minutes. If no winner is produced after these methods, three kicks from the penalty mark are taken, and the team that has scored the most wins. If it is not decided after three kicks from the penalty mark, it continues to go on with one extra kick from the penalty mark to each team at a time until one of them has scored more goals than the other. Unlike extra time, the goals scored in a shoot-out do not count towards the goals scored throughout the match.[28]

Unlike association football, there is no offside in futsal. Under the Futsal Laws of the Game, Law 11 references offside as it does in association football, but only says that there is no offside in futsal.[31]

Yellow and red cards are used in futsal. The yellow card is to caution players over their actions. If they get two, they are given a red card, which means they are sent off the field. A yellow card is shown if a player shows unsporting behavior, dissent, persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game, delaying the restart of play, failing to respect the distance of the player from the ball when play is being restarted, infringement of substitution procedure or entering, re-entering and leaving the field without the referee's permission.[34] A player is shown the red card and sent off if they engage in serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting at another person, or denying the opposing team a goal by handling the ball (except the goalkeeper inside their penalty area). Also punishable with a red card is denying an opponent moving towards the player's goal a goal scoring opportunity by committing an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick and using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures.[34] A player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field.[citation needed]

What became futsal was developed in 1930s Uruguay by a teacher named Juan Carlos Ceriani, originally to play on a basketball court. In writing the laws he took the five-a-side team sizes and 40-minute match duration from basketball, pitch and goal dimensions from handball, and goalkeeper rules from water polo.

The game soon spread throughout South America, where the rules were standardised and the first international confederation was formed in 1965. In 1989, FIFA took over as the sport's governing body, holding the first edition of its World Cup that January in the Netherlands, Brazil beating the hosts in the final.

Spain: Won seven men's senior UEFA futsal titles (more than half) as well as two FIFA Futsal World Cups, and the first three European women's championships and inaugural two men's U19 EUROs (both those runs still continuing).

Dina Moskva (RUS): Nothing to do with Dynamo but spearheaded by that club's future president Konstantin Eremenko, Dina dominated Russian futsal in the 1990s and had much success in the unofficial competitions that preceded the launch of the UEFA Futsal Cup in 2001/02. Reached the UEFA final four in 2014/15.

Schumacher: Nicknamed after the German goalkeeper but a defender in futsal that oozed class, Schumacher helped Brazil win the 2008 World Cup against Spain, where he spent 11 years as a player for Inter, winning three UEFA Futsal Cups.

Ricardinho: 'O Mágico' has a tattoo of Falcão and the Portuguese winger is quite often bracketed with the Brazilian in the futsal pantheon. As a teenager he made his Portugal debut and reached the 2003/04 UEFA Futsal Cup final with Benfica, whom he helped lift the trophy in Lisbon in 2010. After spells in Japan and Russia, he joined Inter in 2013 and aided them to two UEFA Futsal Cup successes in 2017 and 2018, among many other titles. His spectacular tournament showings for Portugal culminated in their UEFA Futsal EURO win of 2018, with Ricardinho the seven-goal top scorer (and as a consquence the new all-time finals top scorer), and then the 2021 World Cup victory in his final international appearance.

Ortiz: Another key part of Spain's success with four Futsal EURO titles, as well as UEFA crowns with Inter in 2009, 2017 and 2018. Moved with Ricardinho to ACCS before a 2021 switch to Barça, winning another UEFA Futsal Champions League in his first season. A defender who often rotated with Kike and bowed out of international futsal in 2022 as Spain's most-capped player on 215, and Futsal EURO appearance record holder.

Futsal is a variant of soccer played (mainly) indoors on a hard court slightly larger than a basketball court, with two teams of five players each, including a goalkeeper. It uses a smaller, heavier, low-bounce ball and is recognized by FIFA as the official indoor soccer game. Learn about the 7 main differences between futsal and indoor soccer.Futsal is played with touchlines as boundaries and without walls or boards, at a faster pace than soccer, allowing for more touches and generally resulting in higher scores. It is played in over 100 countries worldwide by 12 million players.

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