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Futsal History

Futsal started in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of indoor football for recreation in YMCAs. This new sport was developed originally on basket courts in Montevideo (Uruguay), and a rule book was published in September 1933. In 1956 the rules was modified by Habib Maphuz and Luiz Gonzaga de Oliveira Fernandes inside the YMCA of São Paulo Brazil to authorize seniors to compete. In 1965 the Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol de Salon (South American Futsal Confederation) was formed and 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, comprising Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay, 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. Due to a dispute between FIFA and FIFUSA over the name of fútbol, FIFUSA has registered the word fut-sal in 1985 (Madrid, Spain).

The economic recession in the 80’s severely shocked futsal associations in South America, and FIFA took the chance promoting the idea of futsal development integration, which gave the FIFUSA affiliated associations even bigger financial pressure. Though 12 countries voted against the proposal of integrating into FIFA in the FIFUSA conference in 1989, they failed to stop Brazil- one of the most influential countries in this sport- joining the FIFA side. After that, the FIFUSA dismissed and the associations refused to join FIFA system formed Confederación Panamericana de Futsal (PANAFUTSAL), which became the power of the establishment of Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF) later in 2002.

During the years that FIFA took the control of futsal development, the result was not marked because FIFA affiliated FAs (Football Associations) did not input sufficient efforts, especially in developing countries without enough human and material resources. The futsal-lovers around the world thus had an idea about reinvigorating the independent futsal governing body; the futsal associations, chained together by PANAFUTSAL and the Unión Europea de Futsal (UEFS), had FIFUSA resolved on Dec. 1, 2002, to change its name, to update its social and sport objectives and reorganize its structure in order accommodate new and existing demands.

As of that date, the Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF) is the new worldwide organization that reunites FIFUSA’s member countries, maintaining the historical, cultural and sports leadership of its predecessor. The two basic organizations in the old FIFUSA were the Confederación Panamericana de Futsal (PANAFUTSAL) and the Unión Europea de Futsal (UEFS). Both are now members of the AMF, maintaining the institutional, sport and historical continuity of FIFUSA in the new AMF. Also one must emphasize that the AMF and its members are the legitimate heirs of Fútbol de Salón and its sport abbreviation, FUTSAL.

The sport is different from and independent of any other existing world-wide organization. Whoever intends to take control of our identity because of their power, impunity or influence will have to demonstrate before justice their historical foundation and accomplishments in the life of our sport.