The Football Association and Football Foundation have today launched a £300,000 fund aimed at developing the sport of Futsal in England.
Futsal is a five-a-side game, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey-sized goals and a size-four ball that has a reduced bounce. The exciting, fast-paced sport is played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA.
County FAs, youth football leagues, youth Futsal leagues, schools (excluding primary level), senior colleges and sixth forms are being encouraged to apply for a ‘Futsal starter pack’, which includes Futsal-specific equipment including goals, balls and bibs, as well as FA accredited coaching and refereeing courses.
The starter packs are designed to adapt existing sports halls, playgrounds and other hard surface facilities by providing new and existing players with the necessary tools and skills to develop and maintain Futsal leagues, competitions and fixtures across the country. Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Friday 6 October.
Specifically, applications in the following categories will be prioritised:
•Female Futsal (12-18 years)
•Youth Futsal (14 years-and-over)
•Youth football leagues (U14-to-U18)
•Association of Colleges (AoC) members with facilities offering community usage
•English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) and Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) member schools with facilities offering community usage
The scheme will be delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity. As well as delivering Grow the Game, the Football Foundation delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. Since 2000, the Foundation has supported over 15,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn.
Michael Skubala, England Futsal Head Coach, said: “The FA recognises Futsal’s increasing importance and popularity. Through our partnership with the Football Foundation, the fund is a fantastic way to celebrate and start to grow the sport in this country. We want to see more players playing the sport in new leagues and competitions, and I would encourage all those who are eligible to apply for the scheme by Friday 6 October.
“Futsal is a sport in its own right with its own pathway to becoming an England International. Futsal also promotes and practices both inclusivity and diversity – it is a sport for players and coaches from different genders, ethnic backgrounds, faiths, ages, sexual orientations and the disabled.”
Paul Thorogood, Football Foundation CEO, said: “The Football Foundation is delighted to be delivering this funding scheme on The FA’s behalf. We want to see more people playing Futsal, so these starter packs are great news for those looking to take up the sport. The application deadline is Friday 6 October and anyone who thinks they are eligible should visit our website to find out more information on the scheme.”
To apply for a Futsal starter pack, please visit the Football Foundation website.