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According to the official website of the LNFS (National Futsal League in Spain), the clubs have released a message of unity, solidarity, and continuity with the aim of achieving qualification as a Professional League.
If you are new to this situation in Spain, the LNFS has managed futsal’s top divisions in Spain since 1989 but in 2019 the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced it was taking control of Spanish Futsal. According to Marca.com, the RFEF stated that although many clubs involved in Spanish Futsal derived from professional football clubs or were futsal clubs organised professionally, these clubs were a small percentage of what was essentially an amateur sport. Therefore, on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the Federation released a statement, confirming that it will assume control of the First and Second Futsal Divisions, competitions that were organized by the LNFS. To enforce this fact, legal proceedings showed that the RFEF and the LNFS had no legal agreement in place for the LNFS to function as the administrative body for the top divisions since 2013, therefore, the RFEF was legally in their right as the sport’s governing body to take control of the Divisions. The RFEF justified their decision by stating that they “must act in accordance with the law”, and “assume the responsibilities conferred on to it”.
Since this development occurred there has been a war in Spain between both entities. It is one of the toughest battles in Spanish sports in recent years. On one side of the ring, the National Futsal League (LNFS), with Javier Lozano as the visible head. On the other, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), with its president Luis Rubiales at the helm. And in the middle, a request from the LNFS to the Higher Sports Council (CSD) to become a professional league but this request, despite being backed by the Popular Party, was rejected, earlier this year..
On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in Madrid, the LNFS held its General Assembly of Clubs, which was attended by all its members. During the assembly, unanimous support was expressed for President Javier Lozano to continue with the current associational model and to advance a future project that would lead to the qualification as a Professional League. The accounts for the 2022-2023 season were also unanimously approved, showing a profit of 127,000 euros, and the economic viability of the Association for the 2023/24 season with its own resources was confirmed.
All members of the LNFS expressed their unanimous support for President Javier Lozano and reiterated their strong commitment to work towards the qualification of futsal as a professional sport. As the Association representing the majority of clubs in the First Division, they unwaveringly reaffirmed their belief in the only viable path to shape a sustainable future for the sport through professionalization, acknowledging their significant representation.
The LNFS continues its efforts to shape a future project aimed at the professionalization of futsal. This development would result in the consolidation, expansion, and enhancement of Spanish futsal, thereby boosting the clubs’ economy through increased media exposure. This, in turn, would have a positive impact on the players, their working conditions, and the coaches. The Association is currently working on designing the economic, legal, and regulatory parameters necessary to establish a professional competition. Over the next few months, they will engage in a rigorous political and media agenda to raise awareness for this long-standing and well-deserved demand.
During the assembly, the final settlement and closure of the budget were presented and the accounts for the 2022-2023 season were unanimously approved, generating a profit of 127,000 euros. Additionally, the budget for the 2023/2024 season was approved, along with the execution guidelines, ensuring the Association’s financial viability through the utilization of self-generated resources. It was emphasized that no financial contributions from the clubs would be required, despite offers made by the members.
Javier Lozano, the President, stated, “The clubs have sent a message of unity and continuity. The unanimous support received from the members during this Assembly clearly reflects their absolute confidence in the associational model. This resounding endorsement guarantees the continuity of the LNFS. By implementing measures of austerity and cost-saving in our management, we have achieved self-sufficiency to work resolutely and determinedly in the upcoming season, striving to fulfill the mandate of the true and sole owners of the competition. The transformation into a Professional League is considered indispensable and non-negotiable.”
The LNFS website provided these details regarding the General Assembly, highlighting the shared commitment and determination of the clubs to pursue the qualification as a Professional League.
Background information about the LNFS
The LNFS was established in 1989 and was responsible for organizing and overseeing the top-tier futsal competitions in the country. The league comprises various professional futsal clubs that compete in the Primera División (First Division) and Segunda División (Second Division). These clubs represent different regions of Spain and showcase the highest level of futsal talent in the country.
The LNFS played a pivotal role in the development, promotion, and administration of futsal in Spain. It set the rules and regulations for competitions, ensured fair play, and fostered the growth of the sport at all levels. The organization collaborated closely with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to enhance the visibility and recognition of futsal both domestically and internationally.
Over the years, the LNFS worked towards professionalising futsal in Spain, aiming to elevate the sport’s status and create better opportunities for players, coaches, and clubs. Their goal is to establish futsal as a recognized and financially sustainable professional sport, with the associated benefits of increased media exposure, improved working conditions, and a stronger economic foundation for the participating clubs.
Through their efforts, the LNFS seeks to further enhance the reputation of Spanish futsal and consolidate its position as one of the leading futsal leagues in the world. The organization’s commitment to unity, continuity, and achieving professional status for futsal demonstrates its dedication to the long-term development and success of the sport in Spain.
Source of the main picture: LNFS website
Author of interview
Stephen McGettigan was born in the Republic of Ireland but grew up in Belfast. He is the founder of Futsal Focus, a Football Industries MBA graduate from the University of Liverpool Management School, and he has worked in the Football and Futsal industries for 15 years.
Futsal Focus is a supporter of Dáithí Mac Gabhann and his family’s campaign to raise awareness of Organ Donation. We encourage our readers to learn more about Organ Donation: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
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