Kodungallur to get Futsal Academy

Published: 04th September 2012 02:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2012 02:05 PM   |  A+A-

Playing indoor soccer futsal will soon be a reality in the state as the Central Government is all set to start its first futsal academy in the country in Kodungallur, Thrissur. Though futsal, a variant of football played on smaller pitches, mainly indoors, is popular in several countries, the game has not been properly introduced in India.

As part of promoting the game in the country, the Union Sports Ministry is set to start the state’s first ‘futsal’ pitch and the country’s first dedicated coaching centre on the Kunji Kuttan Thampuran College campus here, said T N Prathapan MLA.

The state-of-the art facility, which is under construction inside the Kunji Kuttan Thampuran College campus, will be operational from next year, he said. The Centre has earmarked Rs 1 crore for the construction the turf and other infrastructure facilities on the campus. A synthetic turf, specially designed to absorb shock, measuring 42 metres length and 18-22 metres width, will also be set up as part of the project, he said. In addition, facilities like floodlight, cage netting to separate pitches, changing rooms and refreshment counters will be set up, he said.

Futsal is the only form of indoor soccer certified by the FIFA. The five-a-side soccer game is played on a hard surfaced, basketball-sized court with a smaller, heavier low-bounce ball. The duration of the game is 40 minutes with two halves of 20 minutes each with touchline boundaries and without walls.

The goal post is also smaller than that used in normal football.

“Though the term ‘futsal’ is unfamiliar to many people in the country, it will certainly steal the show once it is introduced in a place like Kerala, where people are crazy about football,” said I M Vijayan, former Indian football team captain.

“Futsal, a popular game in western countries, has been gaining popularity for the past two decades,” he said, adding that many international football players have started playing the game as it helps in the speedy development of footballing techniques.

“Futsal will become the next big recreational activity in the state as it can be played with maximum number of five players, including the goalkeeper,” said Francis, an avid football fan based in Thrissur.

Experts point out that futsal is comparatively more interesting as players get to be in contact with the ball more when compared to football. Various private schools also can establish their futsal teams once it becomes popular here, they added.

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