History of Futsal

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Futsal: The Beginning
Futsal originated in the South American countries of Uruguay and Brazil where, in the 1930’s, two versions of small-sided football were being played in the cities of Montevideo and Sao Paulo respectively. In Brazil, a version began to develop on the streets of Sao Paulo, leading to the publishing of the first rules of the game in 1936 from the country that would soon become the masters of the game. The skills that were born on the futsal pitch soon became evident in the 11-a-side game with Pele, Maradona, Romario and Zico who all played futsal in the early stages of their development.

Involvement of FIFA in Futsal
In 1989, FIFA recognizing the potential of the sport and asserted itself as the governing body, abbreviating Futebol de Sala to ‘Futsal’ and organising the first FIFA Futsal World Championship. Under FIFA’s control, new rules were introduced aimed at improving the technical aspects of the game for players and spectators alike. The ball was made slightly larger (increased to a size 4) but still weighted to reduce bounce. Linesmen were replaced with a second referee and unlimited substitutions were introduced to improve the dynamics of the game.

Futsal is the only "Official Form of Indoor Soccer" as approved by FIFA.


Futsal can be considered the most rapidly growing indoor sport. It is already played around the world by over 30 million people of both sexes in at least 100 countries reflecting it’s global potential. Every day more and more federations, associations, academies, schools and clubs are discovering potential, diversity and enjoyability.

* In Brazil, futsal has established itself both professionally and throughout schools and the local communities. 190,000 registered players and a comprehensive TV network showing live games continues to make this country a leader in world futsal.

* In Spain, TV coverage and a professional league continues to make this country the dominant force in European futsal.

* In Italy, according to the Italian Olympic Committee, over 4 million play futsal with 2,200 registered clubs.

* In Russia, the number of players exceeds 3.5 million with established professional leagues and regular TV coverage.

* In Japan, the supply of futsal facilities cannot keep up with demand. The growth of the professional game continues to go from strength to strength with 300,000 registered players.

* In England, futsal leagues and a national competition for clubs have been established to increase participation in the game.

* In Portugal, it is the number one game in schools and universities. This includes a number of professional leagues and 15,000 registered players.

* In Holland, popularity of the game has risen tremendously with an incredible 60,000 registered players.

* In the United States, a record number of 70,000 registered players are playing the game. There are futsal associations in 42 states and the potential for growth is tremendous.

* In Australia, futsal has again shown promising signs of development.

* In Asia, Iran is the biggest force outside Europe and America, although the game is rapidly gaining popularity in the Far East countries.