Huge futsal developments from UEFA
UEFA have announced a series of major changes and investments into futsal that will undoubtedly shape the future of the sport.
The Nyon-based organization that oversees soccer, futsal, and beach soccer within Europe announced that they will be changing the format of the UEFA Futsal Cup to a new competition named the UEFA Futsal Champions League. This streamlines their branding efforts and also gives instant global credibility to their elite futsal club competition given the monstrous success of their Champions League soccer competition. The newly re-branded competition will start for the 2018/19 season.
They have also announced that they will be expanding on the highly popular Futsal Euro, the top continental championship for nationals, from 12 teams to 16 starting in 2022. The extra four spots into the competition instantly provides a significant incentive for national federations to invest into their futsal program. The event will also now be played every fours instead of every two which will now avoid conflicting with the FIFA Futsal World Cup which was played in the same years. Slovenia will host the next edition of the Futsal Euro in early 2018.
One of the best pieces of news to emerge beyond the high performance men’s programs are the announcements that UEFA will be creating a Women’s Futsal Euro competition that will be held every two years starting in 2019. The competition will culminate in a four team final tournament and will be a huge step towards the inevitable creation of the FIFA Women’s Futsal World Cup.
Another new creation sees UEFA establishing a U19 Futsal Euro that will also start in 2019. The final tournament will feature eight nations and will provide a strong look into the future of top European futsallers.
This is undeniably the biggest investment in top level futsal competitions in many years and will provide many playing, coaching, and referee opportunities to European players.