What is Futsal?

Futsal is a high intensity, fast paced, dynamic, non-violent and enjoyable 5-a-side version of football that caters for both male and female participants. It is the only 5-a-side version of football officially recognised by FIFA, and is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

Futsal is played on a smaller, hard-court surface and usually indoors, making it the perfect sport for all weather conditions.

Due to the smaller court size, all players are constantly involved and there is never a dull moment, as defence transforms to attack in a split second.  The small court size also helps players develop close control, quick decision making and speed and agility.

There are some handy modifications in futsal, including a smaller, low-rebound ball which aides control and improves striking technique.

The goals are also smaller, and players wear rubber soled shoes to aid their agility and speed.

Futsal Participation Pathway

Futsal 'Laws of the Game'

View the FIFA Futsal 'Laws of the Game'

History of Futsal

The futsal court was created and developed in 1930 in Uruguay by Physical Education Professor – Juan Carlos Ceriani. After the first World Cup in Uruguay for the ‘Jules Rimet’ Trophy, Professor Ceriani concluded that in order for Uruguay to win the next World Cup, the players needed more agility and faster thinking. In order to increase the agility of the Uruguayan players, Professor Ceriani thought of making them play in a reduced space, so they are forced to move and think faster. Court-football came alive when he put his theory into practice on a basketball court at the YMCA in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where he earned his living as a Professor of Physical Education.

Since it was played in an enclosed space, it was called ‘Futebol de Salon’ or freely translated - room or court football. This new model of playing football immediately spread to the neighboring countries like Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil . In 1949, after the sport became established in Brazil, the Brazilian ‘Asdrubal do Nascimiento’ drew up the first rules of the game.&nbsp The skills developed through this game became visible in the world-famous style that Brazilians display outdoors on the full-sized field through players like Pele, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto, Ronaldo, Ronaldinio and Robinho that have developed their skills through Futsal. 

In Madrid (1985), the name ‘Futebol de Salon’ and all other names were changed officially into ‘Futsal’.

The first Futsal World Championship organized under the auspices of Federacao International de Salao, before its members integrated into FIFA in 1989, was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1982, with Brazil finishing as Champions. 

The Brazilians repeated their success in the second World Championship in 1985 in Spain , but lost in the third World Championship in 1988 in Australia to Paraguay. The first FIFA World Futsal Championship was held in Holland in 1989.