Futsal is the only FIFA and NZ Football approved version of five-a-side football and the world’s fastest growing indoor sport. The name futsal is derived from the Portuguese words futebol (football) and sala (hall).

Futsal is a small-sided game played with a smaller (size 3 or 4) low bounce ball, on a basketball sized court without rebound walls or nets. It is a game which combines fun, creativity, speed, technique, teamwork and quick thinking.

With millions of players worldwide, futsal is a fantastic game in its own right, with professional leagues throughout Europe, South America and Asia and a FIFA Futsal World Cup every four years.

Futsal also produces technically excellent players and as such is an invaluable tool for football development.

Futsal actively promotes:

– individual ball skills, close control and dribbling
– creativity and improvisation
– maintenance of ball possession
– one-touch passing (along the ground)
– accurate shooting
– teamwork and off the ball movement.

World superstars such as Pele, Zico, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi have all acknowledged the role futsal has played in their football development.

Futsal also has superstars of its own, with players such as Falcao and Schumacher (Brazil), Javier Rodriguez (Spain) and Elliot Ragomo (Solomon Islands) fast becoming household names in their own countries.

Futsal and Football

Futsal has the ability to be a positive influence in New Zealand football, just as it has been in Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Australia and a huge number of other countries, including those within our own Oceania Confederation.

New Zealand Football recognise the pathways this popular game offers for players, coaches, administrators at both local and international level.

Bringing futsal into the NZ Football structure also ensures the New Zealand futsal experience can be delivered in a manner that is consistent with and complementary to NZ Football’s Whole of Football Development Plan.

Futsal is a ‘pure’ form of football. While at an elite level, futsal is a highly tactical and even choreographed game, in its most basic form futsal is a fun and simple game that requires no coaching – the game is the teacher! With its emphasis on fun and creativity futsal is the ideal introduction to football to the first time and social player.

The smaller, weighted ball with restricted bounce makes it easier for young or inexperienced players to master their ball control skills. As a result, players very quickly experience improved dribbling, passing and close control.

The dimensions of the futsal court, lack of rebound walls and reduced number of players means players are ‘always in the game’, having on average around 12 times more touches per game than they do in outdoor 11-a-side football.

Playing in reduced space helps develop creativity, improvisation, technique and rapid decision making. Players are encouraged to find their way out of tight situations with a clever pass or piece of individual skill. Increased game awareness and movement off the ball occur quickly and naturally.

Futsal, FIFA and NZF

NZF is working together with FIFA and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) to actively promote all forms of football, to improve the technical ability of its players while at the same time increasing its player and supporter base, and the launch of the NZ Futsal programme is recognition of futsal’s significance and potential, and the beginning of enhanced development of that format of the game.

Futsal is the only form of indoor football endorsed by FIFA and OFC and therefore enjoys similar pathways and benefits to the outdoor version of the game.

Most notably, NZF-selected national teams will compete in FIFA recognised futsal competitions, including the OFC Futsal Championships and qualifying matches for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.