2017 Futsal Canada Conference a Major Success
Ottawa – The 4th annual Futsal Canada Conference wrapped up this past weekend in the nation’s capital. It was the largest and most diverse audience yet with representatives from six provinces from coast to coast coming together to take futsal forward.
Saturday’s presentations included many special guest speakers including Canadian Soccer Association President, Steve Reed, who, in addition to speaking about his support for futsal, provided an insightful look at the upcoming bid for the FIFA 2026 World Cup; a tri-nation bid between Canada, the United States, and Mexico that will feature an expanded 48 team competition.
Making his second appearance at an FCC was the Commissioner of the Professional Futsal League, Keith Tozer. The PFL, a 16 team league owned by Mark Cuban and slated for a 2019 kick off, will provide professional opportunities for Canadian players, coaches, and referees that will transform the sport.
CSA Board Member and a legendary builder of the sport here in Canada, Charlie Cuzzetto, spoke about the history of the sport and a glimpse into many of the successes Canada has had throughout the years. Earlier this year, Cuzzetto was given a Futsal Canada Hall of Fame Award, fitting for a man who helped establish the first incarnation of Futsal Canada decades ago.
Canadian National Head Coach Kyt Selaidopoulos then took the stage and went into last year’s accomplishments with the national team and the subsequent professional opportunities for its players while placing an emphasis on creating league standards for the betterment of future national championships.
The expansion of the Futsal Player Identification Program (F-PICs) for elite boys and girls to Ottawa and Montreal was announced for this fall and was very well received. The program, in its fourth year, will see the top selections from all three regions compete against the Unites States Youth Futsal teams at the end of this year.
Sunday opened up with a series of productive group workshops focusing on important subjects such as women’s, youth, and Indigenous futsal development, marketing, social media, and revenue streams that provided unique insight and variables from across the country.
That was followed up with Canada’s only FIFA Futsal Referee Instructor, Bob Tibbo, providing an in-depth look into current officiating programs and how to streamline how referees train and hone their craft across the country.
Futsal Canada’s Kris Fernandes spoke about the current state and future of international futsal and how Canada could benefit from implementing similar plans. Also discussed were Futsal Canada’s partnerships with international futsal and sporting bodies as well as a look at the benefits of potential partnerships.
A fascinating presentation titled “Futsal Fitness” by soccer scientist Richard Bucciarelli of Soccer Fitness Inc was widely acclaimed by attendees. The amount of scientific data in futsal is still in its infancy stages but Richard’s data-based analysis provided tremendous food for thought for everyone to improve the quality of player and referee performances.
The President of the Canadian champions, Sporting Outlaws FC, Enrique Benevidez, talked about their upcoming trip to Honduras for the CONCACAF Futsal Club Championships as well as their new women’s and U18 programs that they’re working on for this season. The team is fundraising for their trip and you can help by clicking here.