Uncertainty and skepticism in FIFA about the Futsal World Cup?

Yesterday, a big rumor has entered the futsal community via Twitter profile by Gustavo Adolfo Muñana Fuentes, a journalist, and analyst at LaLigaSports TV and LNFS, and Sports Director certified by the RFEF. Mr. Muñana is also the presenter of the LNFS program "Pista Azul".

Mr. Muñana stated that "FIFA is evaluating the possibility of canceling the 9th edition of the Futsal World Cup, which was to be played in Lithuania in 2020 and was already postponed from May to September 12-October 3, 2021."


The rest of his tweets, translated in English, continue as follows:

"FIFA estimates that the world situation has not normalized enough to be able to solve the challenges posed by the organization of the World Cup, including the viability of the qualifying tournaments that remain to be played in the AFC (5 teams) and CONCACAF (4)."

Mr. Muñana continues that this is the same argument used by FIFA to postpone the Women's U-17 and U-20 World Cups. In Futsal, there is even talk of a definitive cancellation to respect the World Cup cycle (2024).

"On May 12, the postponement of the World Cup from 2020 to 2021 was announced with only 13 of the 24 teams confirmed for the tournament. In the European playoffs, the Czech Republic and Serbia completed the European quota (7). Before this, the return leg between Finland and Serbia was delayed due to Covid until December 9."

"With 15 teams classified, there are 9 left to complete the list of 24 participants. 5 are Asian. The AFC was going to play the Asian Cup from February 26 to March 8, 2020, in Turkmenistan. That got postponed with changes in venue, and it will finally be played in Kuwait from March 23 to April 3, 2021, with 16 teams participating."

"The 4 remaining places are for teams from CONCACAF, which postponed its 2020 Futsal Championship for a year. It is scheduled from May 1 to 10, 2021 with 20 selections." Mr. Muñana reports that there are uncertainty and skepticism in FIFA about the holding of both qualifying tournaments as scheduled.

"A scenario already contemplated by FIFA before confirming official dates after the postponement. Lithuania was asked to play in December, but the hosts claimed that the basketball season had started and it was impossible to reserve the Kaunas, Vilna, and Klaipėda venues."

"That 3-month margin was considered strategic by FIFA to avoid further setbacks derived from Covid. Given the hypothetical impossibility of holding them, the ranking system could be used to complete the World Cup quota (24), but it was rejected by the Federations involved."
"Along with the pandemic and as a consequence of it, the economic recession also appears as a possible reason for the cancellation of the World Cup in Lithuania. The drastic loss of income, coupled with the enormous need to cut expenses, leave futsal facing an unprecedented abyss."
"There is nothing official. Many calls and WhatsApp messages, looking for information between managers and selectors. There is a maximum concern present. Although FIFA said there were zero risks for official competitions, it is clear that the Futsal World Cup could not come to fruition."
It is well worth noting that Mr. Muñana's report is not official nor there has been any official statement from FIFA, AFC, or CONCACAF about another postponement of the qualification tournaments and the World Cup itself.
We sincerely hope that these rumors will not come to fruition and that futsal will once again show its resilience with tournaments being held as planned!