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Futsal: Why it could be the next big thing in India

Rohit Nair
824   //    18 Jul 2016, 14:06 IST
Ronaldinho celebrates a goal during a Premier Futsal League game 

With the Premier Futsal League taking the country by storm, we take a look at why the sport of futsal has massive potential in the country. With plenty of football fans lapping up the skills on show, it won't be long before futsal becomes the norm in the nation. There are plenty of pointers that show why futsal has tremendous potential to become the new pastime for the youth in India, especially in metros. Here is a look at some of the reasons that separate futsal from the rest:

1) Metro kids love it

First of all, getting kids in metros these days to get some sort of physical exercise is a challenge in itself. Next, to find the right sport to fit their ever-growing demands is another mountain to climb. Futsal brings up two crucial factors that play into the hands of kids and football fans in metros - Small spaces and five-a-side.

It's pretty well established that 5 or 6-a side football is pretty popular amongst many kids in metros. With plenty artificial turf grounds in and around cities playing host to players over the week, each with a maximum of 6 players a side, futsal seems to be the perfect replacement. The game requires one to play in small spaces and with all that practice playing mini football, futsal is the perfect platform for one to showcase their skill.

Once futsal is established properly in the country, it won't be long before kids are running out with their shoes onto futsal pitches, ready to conquer. The funny thing is, for a nation who loves football, most kids love 5-a side as it allows more scope for them to unleash their inner Ronaldinho and massacre their opponents with some raw freestyle football.

2) It's short and sweet

One of the silly reasons that non-football fans give is that football contains large time periods when the ball goes back and forth with no real action. Futsal does not have that problem thanks to a reduced pitch size and fewer players thereby maximising the number of chances for teams to score.

This means that futsal matches generally are not only entertaining to watch, but also to play. Matches tend to get high scoring and very competitive. Fitness levels are replaced by adrenaline as winning a game within a stipulated time frame takes precedence. 

Also read: Premier Futsal League 2016 India Schedule: Download PDF including match date and venue  

The added bonus of being able to nutmeg, humiliate and rise above your opponent is another reason that futsal has a lot of potential. Indians love to finish things quickly and in a hurry and futsal is the perfect platform for one to do so.

3) Futsal has legends promoting it in India

Lastly, in a point that really takes the cake, the way futsal has been promoted, right from the current king of cricket, Virat Kohli along with Luis Figo, to the cream of the crop when it comes to marquee players, people intrigued by the sport.

Watching legends of the sport such as Ronaldinho, Falcao, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs coming all the way down to India speaks volumes of the position our country is in terms of promoting the sport. 

When kids watch such players promoting the format, especially if you take into consideration performances such as Ronaldinho's 5 goal haul in a game, they get inspired.

All it takes is one good tournament for kids to start flocking onto the futsal pitch and begin showcasing their talent. With time and a lack of space in most metros, it won't be long before throngs of kids embrace the format and hopefully make our country a powerhouse of talent soon.

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