Futsal becomes a new craze in football-mad Goa, with more than 15 fields

The football-mad state of Goa has been slowly warming up to futsal, an indoor version of the sport played on hard courts.

More than 15 futsal fields have been developed in the state in a period of less than 10 years and the promoters of this sport have called it a nursery for soccer players and initiation to soccer.

Speaking to PTI, Futsal Alliance of Goa President Benjamin Silva said that they had taken small steps to promote the sport in 2016 and six years later, their efforts have paid off.

Silva recalled how the journey was not easy, as the Goa Football Association (GFA), which is affiliated with FIFA, refused to extend a helping hand.

We continue on our way. Our intention was to create more futsal players in the state, he said.

Without proper infrastructure, futsal was slow to grow in the state. But now, there are enough fields and a large number of teams participating in the meetings.

The Don Bosco Institution at Fatorda in South Goa has come as a savior to the game by building an international standard futsal pitch on its premises and opening up opportunities to host games in the coastal state.

Ten years ago, when we held the first futsal tournament at the Don Bosco Oratory in Panaji, we had to import balls from Australia. There were no balls available in India for this sport, said Father Raline D’Souza, rector of Don Bosco Fatorda.

Fr D’Souza said that the situation is much better now that the sport is recognized.

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Another priest and promoter of futsal, Father Kinley D’Cruz of Don Bosco Fatorda, said that more and more young people are attracted to futsal, which does not require many players.

A soccer game requires 22 players, but only 10 are needed for futsal, he said.

Futsal is being played in all age groups and has become “a nursery for soccer players” in the sense that it is a good introduction to soccer, Father D’cruz said.

(Only the headline and image in this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; all other content is auto-generated from a syndicated source.)

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