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Premier Futsal Management launches India’s first Futsal league

MUMBAI: Premier Futsal Management, a company which has former world soccer player of the year and Real Madrid FC legend Luis Figo as president, has launched India’s first Futsal league.

The franchise-based league will be played across eight cities in India from 15 to 24 July. It will bring together 56 of the best current Futsal players from across the world in a competitive format.

Futsal, a 5-a-side shorter variant of soccer with two halves of 20 minutes each, is governed by Futsal Association of India (FAI) with accreditation from the international governing body, Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF).

The pioneering model will see each playing team mandatorily comprise three international Futsal players, one international marquee soccer player and one Indian Futsal player. Each squad size will be of twelve players.

Besides Figo, the company comprises Indev Logistics’ Xavier Britto as primary investor & chairman, Dinesh Raj as managing director, Abhinandan Balasubramanian as CEO & director, Nithyashree Subban as finance director and Balu Nayar as executive director.

Premier Futsal, in association with FAI, will launch a talent hunt programme across eight cities to scout and select Indian players. The programme will comb through 2500 participants per city, to shortlist five regional players for each team.

Britto said, “Premier Futsal is a truly world-class league, which will feature best current Futsal players from across the globe. Owing to the unique and innovative model, the league will not only disrupt the global Futsal scenario, but also establish the first generation of professional futsallers in India. Given the fast-paced all action nature of the sport and its short duration, we are confident Premier Futsal will capture the imaginations of TV audience as well as fans in-stadia.”

Figo added, “Premier Futsal is set to take the sport of Futsal to the next level internationally. Back in Portugal, I have played Futsal extensively growing up which instilled quick thinking, skills and close control. In the last two decades, the sport has established its identity and with Premier Futsal, we hope to further propagate the sport in its individual capacity.”

AMF vice-president and FAI co-founder & president Namdev S Shirgaonker said, “Futsal has been around for over 70 years and currently it is one of the fastest growing sport in the world and as well as in India. We, at AMF and FAI, are extremely pleased to partner with Premier Futsal. The Futsal scenario, especially in India, will greatly benefit from a structured professional league, wherein young Indian player would rub shoulders with global talent. The league would also thrust the sport in mainstream attention and make aspirational for the youth of the country. The AMF globally and FAI in India share the same development vision for the sport as Premier Futsal team, which is the basis of an enduring partnership.”