July 9, 2014
With the 2014 World Cup buzz going on, FIFA releases this statement regarding the importance of Futsal and player’s development, especially in the England camp:
Brazilians childhood immersion in futsal shines through the play of many of those like Oscar lining up in the World Cup semi-final against Germany in Belo Horizonte. The small-sided game with a heavier ball that enhances skill and decision-making is now considered one of the important elements in the long-term task of making England a force again.
England returned from Brazil embarrassed by an early exit and the obvious technical limitations of their players as well as flaws in their decision-making, responsibility-taking faculties. This continued a decade-old debate of whether the nation’s youth development system is focused on the right approaches. The Football Association, following a more enlightened path, acknowledges the usefulness of futsal and will be encouraging more clubs and schools to take up the sport.
“Futsal is like a cauldron for learning where everything is heightened and accelerated due to the fast-flowing and non-stop nature of the game,” said Nick Levett, a former England futsal international and one of the driving forces in the introduction of smaller-sided games as FA national development manager.
“The obvious benefits are lots of touches as there are fewer players. The ball is easier to control as it’s slightly heavier with less bounce than a normal ball. You develop one-v-one and skills in tight areas. Fast decision-making is needed as the ball has to be passed back into the pitch within four seconds if it leaves the field of play.
“It’s good for goalkeepers’ reaction skills. It’s tactically like a condensed game of 11 v 11. There’s lots of counter-attacking which reflects the modern game.”