The RFEF takes over futsal: here are their projects

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Futsal Corner reported on Tuesday, 21st of January, that the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) held a press conference to explain their future projects for futsal. The RFEF took over the organization of Spanish futsal tournaments at the beginning of this season, in the context of a long-standing dispute with the LNFS.

Pedro Rocha, president of the Futsal National Committee (“Comité Nacional de Fútbol sala”, CNFS), was the first to intervene, and didn’t miss the opportunity to leave a clear message: “We had to take over futsal”. He also underlined that it is necessary to give the current 126.000 licenses “the respect they deserve”.

Rocha was followed by former Barcelona legend Paco Sedano, CNFS Secretary, who explained the RFEF strategic plan for categories that need more attention, such as female and lower-tier futsal. While some of the changes were already known and others were subject of rumors, there were also a few new revelations. Here is our summary.

What to expect for female futsal?

In order to promote competitiveness in a First Division with two dominant teams (Futsi Atlético and Burela), the format was changed. Starting from this season, the champion will be defined through post-season playoff between the top 4 teams, instead of rewarding the regular-season winner. In the relegation zone, also as an attempt to keep emotions alive until the last day, relegations were raised from three to four teams.

The four promotions from Second to First Division will also be defined through a playoff. Being the Second Division split into four groups, the second and third-placed teams from each group will play a double-header qualification round. The winners will fight for promotion against their respective group winners.

The Copa de La Reina changed its format to involve up to 32 teams. Sedano highlighted the fact that the RFEF is covering all the travel expenses for visiting teams.

The semifinals and final will be played in a Final Four format. Men’s and Women’s Final Four Tournaments will share the same weekend (8-10 May) and host city.

The RFEF is looking for a sponsor for the First Division. In case a sponsor isn’t found, the Federation will cover the expected sponsoring costs (€ 100.000). Furthermore, an additional € 60.000 will be put on the table to allow the TV broadcast of a First Division and a Second Division match. Following Sedano, Luis Amado, RFEF Ambassador and Institutional Representative, cleared the air about some issues related to the Spanish Cup.

What to expect at the Spanish Cup in Malaga?

The MiniCopa (youth tournament, with the same 8 teams as the senior one) will be fully streamed, and the final will be played at the Martín Carpena arena, the same as the main Cup. The organizers are evaluating the possibility to play the semifinal in the big arena as well.

Work is in progress for a new parquet, there will be coaching events (organized by José Venancio, Spanish NT coach from 2007 to 2018) and there is the intention to bring referees closer to the general public, although it is yet to be known how this would be achieved. There will be two fan zones, one near the arena and one in the center of Malaga.

The design for both the trophy and the parquet will see changes (this would be to detach themselves from the LNFS; it is clear, although not explicitly stated). There will be artistic performances during half time. A famous Spanish artist is expected to perform before the final.
The Martín Carpena arena will have a capacity between 9.500 and 10.000 seats. Four-day passes are sold out, while single-day tickets are selling at a good pace.

As for broadcasting, the RFEF is waiting for a positive answer from LNFS and Gol Televisión (official LNFS broadcasting partner for this season). Otherwise, Luis Amado confirmed that they have an alternative agreement to guarantee TV visibility. José Venancio López, Futsal Technical Director, took the floor after Amado. Venancio, together with the National Team coaches (Fede Vidal, senior men’s team; Claudia Pons, senior women’s; Albert Canillas, youth teams) will coordinate various projects to enhance coaches and players’ knowledge. Venancio, in addition, announced that the RFEF will ask to be host of the 2021 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.

Projects to promote futsal

  • Futsal Talents: a camp for 48 of the best Under 15 male and female players, with talent-scouting purposes.
  • Technical training for goalkeepers and pivots: the best Under 12, 14 and 16 players in those specific positions will be invited to four two-day seminars throughout the year. The aim is to improve two key positions in futsal that require more specific work.
  • Futsal Olympic: worldwide congress to be held somewhere in the first weeks of November 2020, aimed to all components of futsal (coaches, players, managers, etc.) and with the purpose to work towards futsal as an Olympic sport.
  • In addition, Venancio declared that, although formally invited, Spain will not take part in the unofficial (though endorsed by FIFA) Women’s World Championship that is going to take place in Brazil next summer, both for calendar and budgetary reasons.

Lastly, the Men’s Copa del Rey draw defined the quarter-finals as follows:

  • Barça vs Pescados Rubén Burela
  • Soliss FS Talavera vs Industrias Santa Coloma
  • Real Betis FS vs Servigroup Peñíscola
  • Jaén Paraíso Interior vs Jimbee Cartagena

The single-match round will be played on February 11 and 12. The draw also defined the local teams. Times are to be determined.

Source of the article and translation is by Futsal Corner

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