Futsal ("futbal al salone" - football in the room, or indoors ) was born in South America in the 1930s, to hone the skills of players; it is said that Lionel Messi did not play Association Football until the age of 12. It is a modified 5-a-Side game, played with great ball skills and speed of thought. It very quickly spread to Southern Europe, to the Spanish and Portuguese speakers and today it is a professional game in many countries, holds internationals and is televised in some countries. England was slow on the uptake but it is now under the auspices of the F A, who have now announced a new 5-year plan for the development of the game and to televise some matches.
Futsal is still an amateur game in England. It is not hugely expensive to run as the FA provides officials but not the coaching, the venues or training facilities; Cambridge United FC provides some financing but the Futsal Club needs to promote itself and to manage a budget. Awareness is not great at present, although some home matches last season attracted as many as 220 spectators at the University Sports Hall, on Madingley Road, where our home matches are played. Penny and I have been attending home matches for 3 years now, and quite a number of away matches, supporting the team with money and also in providing most of the food for home matches. The FA are keen that the home team feeds the officials and the away team - we do more that that !
We are holding a dinner at The Abbey Stadium on the evening of Wednesday 14th November (7 for 7.30, smart casual) just 5 weeks away from now. There will be a short talk by Jose Lima, our futsal goalkeeper and one of the founders of the club, plus an Auction of Promises which will be unusual things which cannot easily be procured. Local rooftop walks and non-commercial flights are already in the advanced planning stages, for instance.
Tickets cost 50 pounds. Tables of ten are available and we hope that you will come along and support a growing, amateur, concern which develops local youths. Can you please let us know ASAP if you are able to organize something as we need to fill this room with 100 people.