Premier Futsal tournament kicks off
The inaugural Premier Futsal league kicked off on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru indoor Stadium in Chennai. Mumbai and Kolkata began their campaign with a win each over Chennai and Goa respectively. While in first Futsal match of the tournament, Ryan Giggs' Mumbai 5s convincingly won 4-2 against the hosts Chennai 5s, Ronaldinho's Goa 5s fell 4-2 to Kolkata 5s.
What is Futsal?
Futsal is a fast-paced, small-sided form of Football, played indoors. It is officially recognized by FIFA and UEFA. It originated in 1930s as solution to lack of pitches in the South America. Futsal is five-a-side format game played for the duration of 40 minutes. World class footballers including Pele, Zico, Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka, Fabregas, Ronaldinho are among many others who played futsal growing up.
Popularity across the world
Futsal as a sport is played across the world in about 60 countries. So far, FIFA had organized seven Futsal World Cups - in 1989, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
How is futsal different from football?
Apart from the apparent difference in time duration and the number of players per team, futsal has fewer rules than football. Unlike football, futsal doesn't allow physical contact. Football's offside rule is not applicable to futsal. While substitutions are restricted to 3 in football, unlimited substitutions are allowed in futsal, with a maximum of 12 players per team allowed to play for a game.
Premier Futsal in India
Premier Futsal is a franchise-based multi-national futsal tournament. Portugese football legend Louis Figo is its president and Virat Kohli is brand ambassador. The league is governed by FAI (Futsal Association of India), which is affiliated to international futsal body Asociacion Mundial de Futsal (AMF). The tournament's first edition sees six teams, divided into two groups, playing 13 matches over eight days from 15-24 July.
Some basics of Premier Futsal
Orange card in futsal is same as football's yellow card and blue is equivalent to football's red. Two orange cards produce a blue. A blue-carded player gets expelled and can be replaced by another player. Each foul after 5 fouls led to penalty.
A look at Premier Futsal Teams
The teams of Premier Futsal: Kolkata 5s - Hernan Crespo as marquee player; Chennai 5s - futsal star Falcao as marquee player; Bengaluru 5s - Manchester United legend Paul Scholes in the team; Goa 5s - Barcelona legend Ronaldinho as marquee player; Kochi 5s - Michel Salgado as marquee player; and Mumbai 5s - another Man United great Ryan Giggs as their marquee player.