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Futebol Salao Pan2007.jpg
Futsal at the 2007 Pan American Games.
Highest governing body FIFA, AMF
Team members 5 at a time
Categorization Indoor
Equipment Futsal ball (similar to football)

Futsal is a variant of football that is played on a smaller playing surface and mainly played indoors. Its name is derived from the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón (and coloquially fútbol sala), which can be translated as "hall football." During the sport's second world championships held in Madrid in 1985, the name fútbol de salón was used. Since then, all other names have been officially and internationally changed to futsal.

Futsal is played between two teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Up to seven substitutes per team are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regulation football.[1] The rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.[2]



Futsal started in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of football for competition in YMCAs. In Brazil, this version developed on the streets of São Paulo, and eventually a rule book was published. The sport began to spread across South America, and its popularity ensured that a governing body was formed under the name of FIFUSA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol de Salón) in 1971, along with the World Championships. The first FIFUSA World Championships were held in São Paulo, with hosts Brazil crowned champions ahead of Paraguay and Uruguay. Even more countries participated in the second World Championships held in Madrid in 1985.[3] Due to a dispute between FIFA and FIFUSA over the administration of fútbol, FIFUSA coined the word fut-sal in 1985.

FIFA took control of the World Championships in 1989. Under new rules made by FIFA, the technical aspects of the game for players and spectators were improved. The linesmen were replaced with a second referee and there were unlimited substitutions.[4] It also introduced a size 4 football, which was weighted to reduce bounce by 30% compared to a conventional ball, which enabled faster play and, for the first time, scoring goals with the head.[3][5]

Brazil - Argentina futsal game.

FIFA's relationships with its member associations allowed more countries to gain knowledge and resources about futsal.[3] FIFA soon began to administer its own indoor football games, hosting its first FIFA Indoor Soccer World Championship in 1989 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 1992 it was the FIFA Five-a-Side World Championship (Hong Kong) and since 1996 it has been called the FIFA Futsal World Championship. Thanks to the increase of the number of nations that participated in the FIFA Futsal World Championships held in 2000, Brazil's dominance in the competition was ended by Spain.[3]

In 2004, members of PANAFUTSAL (La Confederación Panamericana de Futsal, The Pan-American Futsal Confederation) formed AMF (Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón, World Futsal Association), an international futsal governing body independent of FIFA. Both FIFA and AMF continue to administer the game.[6]


As international governing bodies of futsal, FIFA and AMF are responsible for maintaining and promulgating the official rules of their respective versions of futsal. Like football, futsal has 'laws' that define all aspects of the game, including what may be changed to suit local competitions and leagues. There are seventeen laws in the Futsal Laws of the Game.[7]

Players, equipment and officials

The Brazil national futsal team line up before a match.

There are five players on each team, one of whom is the goalkeeper. The maximum number of substitutes allowed is seven, with unlimited substitutions during the match. Substitutes can come on even when the ball is in play.[8] If a team has fewer than three players in the team, the match is abandoned.[9]

The kit is made up of a jersey or shirt with sleeves, shorts, socks, shinguards made out of rubber or plastic and shoes with rubber soles. The goalkeeper is allowed to wear long trousers and a different coloured kit, to distinguish himself from the other players in the team and the referee. Jewelery is not allowed, as are other items not permitted which could be dangerous to the player wearing the effects or to other active particpants.[10]

The match is controlled by a referee who enforce the Laws of the Game, and the first referee is the only one who can abandon the match because of interference from outside the pitch. This referee is also assisted by a second referee. The decisions made by the referees are final, and can only be changed if the referees think it is necessary and play has not restarted.[11] There is also a third referee and a timekeeper, who are provided with equipment to keep a record of fouls in the match. In the event of injury to the referee or second referee, the third referee will replace the second referee. [12]

The pitch

The pitch is a made up of wood or artificial material, although any flat, smooth and non-abrasive material may be used. The length of the pitch is in the range 38–42 m (42-46 yd) and the width is in the range 18-25m in international matches. For other matches, it can be from 25-42m (27-46 yd)in length, while the width can be 15-25m (16-27 yd), as long as the length of the longer boundary lines (touchlines) are greater than the shorter boundaries where the goals are placed (goal lines)[13]. The ceiling must be at least 4 m (4 yd) high.[14] A rectangular goal is positioned at the middle of each goal line. The inner edges of the vertical goal posts must be 3 m (3 yd) apart, and the lower edge of the horizontal crossbar supported by the goal posts must be 2m (2.2 yd) above the ground. Nets made of hemp, jute or nylon are attached to the back of the goalposts and crossbar. The lower part of the nets shall be attached to curved tubing or another suitable means of support. The depth of the goal is 80 cm at the top and 1m at the bottom.[15]

A futsal arena in Tokyo.

In front of each goal is an area known as the penalty area. This area is created by drawing quarter circles with a 6 m (7 yd) radius from the goal line, centred on the goalposts. The upper part of each quarter circle is then joined by a 3.16m (3.46 yd) line running parallel to the goal line between the goalposts. The line marking the edge of the penalty area is known as the penalty area line.[16] The penalty area marks where the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his hands. The penalty mark is six metres from the goal line when it reaches the middle of the goalposts. The second penalty mark is 10 metres (11 yd) from the goal line when it reaches the middle of the goalposts. A penalty kick from the penalty spot is awarded if a player commits a foul inside the penalty area.[17] The second penalty spot is used if a player commits his team’s sixth foul in the opposing team’s half or in his own half in the area bordered by the halfway line and an imaginary line parallel to the halfway line passing through the second penalty mark, the free kick shall be taken from the second penalty mark.[18]

Duration and tie-breaking methods

A standard match consists of two equal periods of 20 minutes. The length of either half is extended to allow penalty kicks to be taken, or a direct free kick to be taken against a team that has committed more than five fouls. The half time interval between the two halves cannot exceed 15 minutes.[19]

In some competitions, the game cannot end in a draw, so away goals, extra time and penalties are the three methods for determining the winner after a match has been drawn. Away goals mean that if the teams’ score is level after playing one home and one away game, the goals scored in the away match count as double. Extra time consists of two periods of five minutes. If no winner is produced after these methods, five penalties are taken and the team that have scored the most wins. If it is not decided after five penalties, it continues to go on with one extra penalty to each team at a time until one of them has scored more goals than the other. Unlike extra time, the goals scored in a penalty shoot out do not count towards the goals scored throughout the match.[20]

The start and restart of play

At the beginning of the match, a coin toss is used to decide who will start the match. A kick off is used to signal the start of play, and is also used at the start of the second half, and any periods of extra time. It is also used after a goal has been scored, with the other team starting the play.[21] After a temporary stoppage for any reason not mentioned in the Laws of the Game, the referee will drop the ball where the play was stopped, provided that prior to the stoppage the ball was in play and had not crossed either the touch lines or goal lines.[22]

If the ball goes over the goal line or touchline, hits the ceiling, or the play is stopped by the referee, the ball is out of play. If it hits the ceiling of an indoor arena, play is restarted with a kick-in to the opponents of the team that last touched the ball, under the place where it hit the ceiling.[14]


Players are cautioned with a yellow card, and sent off with a red card.

A direct free kick can be awarded to the opposing team if a player succeeds or attempts to kick or trip an opponent, jumping, charging or pushing an opponent, or striking or attempting to strike an opponent. Holding, touching or spitting at an opponent are offenses that are worthy of a direct free kick, as are sliding in to play the ball while your opponent is playing it or carrying, striking or throwing the ball (except the goalkeeper). These are all accumulated fouls. The direct free kick is taken where the infringement occurred, unless it is awarded to the defending team in their penalty area, in which case the free kick may be taken from anywhere inside the penalty area.[23] A penalty kick is awarded if a player commits one of the fouls that are worthy of a direct free kick inside his own penalty area. The position of the ball does not matter as long as it is in play.[24]

An indirect free kick shall be awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper clears the ball but then touches it with his hands before anyone else, if he controls the ball with his hands when it has been kicked to him by a team-mate, or if he touches or controls the ball with his hands or feet in his own half for more than four seconds.[24] An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player plays in a dangerous manner, deliberately obstructs an opponent, prevents the goalkeeper from throwing the ball with his hands or anything else for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player. The indirect free kick shall be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.[24]

Yellow and red cards are both used in futsal. The yellow card is to caution players over their actions, and if they get two they are given a red card, which means they are sent off the field. A yellow card is shown if a player shows unsporting behaviour, dissent, persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game, delaying the restart of play, failing to respect the distance of the player from the ball when play is being restarted, infringement of substitution procedure or entering, re-entering and leaving the pitch without the referee's permission.[25] A player is shown the red card and sent off if they engage in serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting at another person, denying the opposing team a goal by handling the ball (except the goalkeeper inside his penalty area). Also punishable with a red card is denying an opponent moving towards the player’s goal a goalscoring opportunity by committing an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick, using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures.[25] A player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the pitch. A substitute player is permitted to come on two minutes after a team-mate has been sent off, unless a goal is scored before the end of the two minutes. If a team of five players scores against a team of less than five players, another player can be added to the team with less than five players. If the teams are equal when the goal is scored, or if the team with less players scores, both teams remain with the same number of players.[26]


As of March 1, 2010 the top 20 teams according to the ELO-based rankings are:[27]

# Team Points
1  Brazil 1987
2  Spain 1941
3  Italy 1758
4  Russia 1638
5  Iran 1607
6  Portugal 1604
7  Argentina 1571
8  Ukraine 1484
9  Serbia 1432
10  Thailand 1396
11  Paraguay 1354
12  Czech Republic 1353
13  Belarus 1345
14  Japan 1328
15  Romania 1319
16  Azerbaijan 1308
17  Slovakia 1277
18  Uzbekistan 1275
19  United States 1268
20  Netherlands 1267

As of January 22, 2010, according to an alternative ranking, based partly on the ELO system and partly on a form-based system, the top 20 teams are:[28]

# Team Points
1  Brazil 2687
2  Spain 2622
3  Italy 2435
4  Russia 2410
5  Portugal 2404
6  Argentina 2361
7  Iran 2316
8  Ukraine 2278
9  Colombia 2213
10  Serbia 2199
11  Thailand 2197
12  Belarus 2184
13  Paraguay 2171
14  Romania 2170
15  Slovakia 2149
16  Azerbaijan 2130
17  Netherlands 2115
18  Czech Republic 2100
19  Belgium 2098
20  United States 2077


Men's national teams


Competition Year City Country Winner Gold medal icon.svg Runner-Up Silver medal icon.svg 3rd Bronze medal icon.svg 4th
FIFA Futsal World Cups 1989 Rotterdam Netherlands  Brazil  Netherlands  United States  Belgium
1992 Hong Kong China  Brazil  United States  Spain  Iran
1996 Barcelona Spain  Brazil  Spain  Russia  Ukraine
2000 Guatemala City Guatemala  Spain  Brazil  Portugal  Russia
2004 Taipei City Taiwan  Spain  Italy  Brazil  Argentina
2008 Rio de Janeiro Brazil  Brazil  Spain  Italy  Russia
Al-Fateh Confederations Futsal Cup 2009 Tripoli Libya  Iran  Uruguay  Libya  Guatemala
FIFUSA World Futsal Championships 1982 São Paulo Brazil  Brazil  Paraguay  Uruguay  Colombia
1985 Madrid Spain  Brazil  Spain  Paraguay  Argentina
1988 Melbourne Australia  Paraguay  Brazil  Spain  Portugal
1991 Italy  Portugal  Paraguay  Brazil  Bolivia
1994 Argentina  Argentina  Colombia  Uruguay  Brazil
1997 Mexico  Venezuela  Uruguay  Brazil  Russia
2000 Bolivia  Colombia  Bolivia  Argentina  Russia
AMF World Futsal Championships 2003 Asunción Paraguay  Paraguay  Colombia  Bolivia  Peru
2007 Mendoza Argentina  Paraguay  Argentina  Colombia  Peru
Futsal Mundialito 1994 Milano Italy  Italy  Croatia  Spain  Hungary
1995 Rio de Janeiro Brazil  Brazil  Italy  Spain  United States
1996 Rio de Janeiro Brazil  Brazil  Paraguay  Argentina  United States
1998 Rio de Janeiro Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  United States  Italy
2001 Joinville Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Portugal  Czech Republic
2002 Reggio Calabria Italy  Brazil  Italy  Russia  Argentina
2006 Algarve Portugal  Portugal  Croatia  Angola  Mozambique
2007 Algarve Portugal  Portugal  Slovakia  Hungary  Croatia
2008 Algarve Portugal  Portugal  Hungary  Angola  Libya
Grand Prix de Futsal 2005 Brusque Brazil  Brazil  Colombia  Argentina  Uruguay
2006 Caxias do Sul Brazil  Brazil  Italy  Croatia  Argentina
2007 Brazil  Brazil  Iran  Argentina  Hungary
2008 Fortaleza Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Ukraine  Paraguay
2009 Anápolis & Goiânia Brazil  Brazil  Iran  Romania  Czech Republic
2010 Brazil
Pan American Games 2007 Rio de Janeiro Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay  Costa Rica
Arab Futsal Championship 1998 Cairo Egypt  Egypt  Morocco  Libya  Palestine
2005 Cairo Egypt  Egypt  Morocco  Lebanon  Libya
2007 Tripoli Libya  Libya  Egypt  Lebanon  Morocco
2008 Port Said Egypt  Libya  Egypt  Jordan  Lebanon

Continental (major)

Continental Year Country Winner Gold medal icon.svg Runner-Up Silver medal icon.svg 3rd Bronze medal icon.svg 4th
Africa 1996 Egypt  Egypt  Ghana  Zimbabwe  Somalia
2000 Egypt  Egypt  Morocco  Libya  South Africa
2004  Egypt  Mozambique  Morocco
2008 Libya  Libya  Egypt  Morocco  Mozambique
Asia 1999 Malaysia  Iran  South Korea  Kazakhstan  Japan
2000 Thailand  Iran  Kazakhstan  Thailand  Japan
2001 Iran  Iran  Uzbekistan  South Korea  Japan
2002 Indonesia  Iran  Japan  Thailand  South Korea
2003 Iran  Iran  Japan  Thailand  Kuwait
2004 Macau  Iran  Japan  Thailand  Uzbekistan
2005 Vietnam  Iran  Japan  Uzbekistan
2006 Uzbekistan  Japan  Uzbekistan  Iran  Kyrgyzstan
2007 Japan  Iran  Japan  Uzbekistan  Kyrgyzstan
2008 Thailand  Iran  Thailand  Japan  China
2010 Uzbekistan
Europe (UEFA) 1996 Spain  Spain  Russia  Belgium  Italy
1999 Spain  Russia  Spain  Italy  Netherlands
2001 Russia  Spain  Ukraine  Russia  Italy
2003 Italy  Italy  Ukraine  Spain  Czech Republic
2005 Czech Republic  Spain  Russia  Italy  Ukraine
2007 Portugal  Spain  Italy  Russia  Portugal
2010 Hungary  Spain  Portugal  Czech Republic  Azerbaijan
Europe (UEFS) 1989 Spain Portugal Portugal Spain Spain Czech Republic Czechoslovakia Israel Israel
1990 Portugal Portugal Portugal Czech Republic Czechoslovakia Spain Spain England England
1992 Portugal Spain Spain Russia Russia Portugal Portugal Israel Israel
1995 Morocco Slovakia Slovakia Morocco Morocco Russia Russia Czech Republic Czech Republic
1998 Slovakia Russia Russia Spain Spain Slovakia Slovakia Belarus Belarus
2004 Belarus Belarus Belarus Czech Republic Czech Republic Russia Russia Ukraine Ukraine
2006 Catalonia Russia Russia Catalonia Catalonia Czech Republic Czech Republic Belgium Belgium
2008 Belgium Russia Russia Czech Republic Czech Republic Belarus Belarus Belgium Belgium
North American and Central American 1996 Guatemala  United States  Cuba  Mexico  Guatemala
2000 Costa Rica  Costa Rica  Cuba  United States  Mexico
2004 Costa Rica  United States  Cuba  Costa Rica  Mexico
2008 Guatemala  Guatemala  Cuba  United States  Panama
Oceanian 1992 Australia  Australia  Vanuatu  New Zealand
1996 Vanuatu  Australia  Vanuatu  Fiji  Samoa
1999 Vanuatu  Australia  Fiji  Vanuatu  Papua New Guinea
2004 Australia  Australia  New Zealand  Vanuatu  Fiji
2008 Fiji  Solomon Islands  French Polynesia  Vanuatu  New Zealand
2009 Fiji  Solomon Islands  Fiji  Vanuatu  New Caledonia
South American 1964 Paraguay  Paraguay  Brazil
1969 Paraguay  Brazil  Paraguay  Argentina  Uruguay
1971 Brazil  Brazil  Uruguay  Paraguay  Peru
1973 Uruguay  Brazil  Uruguay  Paraguay  Argentina
1975 Argentina  Brazil  Uruguay  Paraguay  Argentina
1976 Uruguay  Brazil  Paraguay  Uruguay  Argentina
1977 Brazil  Brazil  Paraguay  Colombia  Uruguay
1979 Colombia  Brazil  Uruguay
1983 Uruguay  Brazil  Paraguay  Uruguay  Argentina
1986 Argentina  Brazil  Paraguay  Argentina  Uruguay
1989 Brazil  Brazil  Paraguay  Uruguay  Bolivia
1992 Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay  Ecuador
1995 Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Uruguay  Paraguay
1996 Brazil  Brazil  Uruguay  Argentina  Paraguay
1997 Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay
1998 Brazil  Brazil  Paraguay  Uruguay
1999 Brazil  Brazil  Uruguay  Argentina
2000 Brazil  Brazil  Argentina  Uruguay  Bolivia
2003 Paraguay  Argentina  Brazil  Paraguay  Peru
2008 Uruguay  Brazil  Uruguay  Argentina  Paraguay

Continental (minor)

South America


Women's national teams


Competition Year Host Winner Gold medal icon.svg Runner-Up Silver medal icon.svg 3rd Bronze medal icon.svg 4th
AMF World Futsal Championships 2008 Catalonia Catalonia Catalonia Galicia (Spain) Galicia Colombia Colombia Russia Russia


Continental Year Host Winner Gold medal icon.svg Runner-Up Silver medal icon.svg 3rd Bronze medal icon.svg 4th
Europe (UEFS) 2001 Russia Russia Russia Belarus Belarus Ukraine Ukraine Italy Italy
2004 Russia Russia Russia Catalonia Catalonia Ukraine Ukraine Belgium Belgium
2007 Czech Republic Czech Republic Czech Republic Russia Russia Slovakia Slovakia Ukraine Ukraine
2009 Poland Russia Russia - Czech Republic Czech Republic Catalonia Catalonia
South American 2005 Brazil  Brazil  Ecuador  Argentina  Uruguay
2007 Ecuador  Brazil  Colombia  Venezuela  Uruguay

UEFA Women's Ranking

As of January 21, 2010, according to a ranking based partly on the ELO system and partly on a form-based system, the top 10 teams are:[29]

# Team Points
1  Brazil 2146
2  Spain 2098
3  Colombia 1967
4  Portugal 1956
5  Netherlands 1824
6  Iran 1818
7  Venezuela 1809
8  Ukraine 1795
9  Japan 1794
10  Russia 1784

See also


  1. ^ "Comparison between FUTSAL and SOCCER". Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  2. ^ "How will English football develop?". BBC News. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The - History of Futsal". The FA. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Toronto Central Futsal League: 4th Annual Futsal Tournament". Toronto Central Futsal League. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "BBC SPORT". BBC SPORT. 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Futsal Planet News - World Futsal Association is formed". Futsal Planet. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  8. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 3)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  9. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 3)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  10. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 4)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 5)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  12. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 7)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  13. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 1)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  14. ^ a b "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 10)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  15. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 1)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  16. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 1)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  17. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 15)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  18. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 14)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  19. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 8)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  20. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Extra time and penalties)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  21. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 9)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  22. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 9)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  23. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 12)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  24. ^ a b c "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 12)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  25. ^ a b "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 12)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  26. ^ "Futsal Laws of the game (Law 12)". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links

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