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Futsal will be the next generation sport of India!

Last month, we wrote about the history of futsal in India and something about its potential in Earth’s second most populous country. This month we decided to dig deeper into local futsal system and try to get some answers about the future of our sport in this huge country.

>>> New dawn for futsal in India

Our interviewee from India is Mr. Aparup Chakraborty, IPSO & PFSA Certified Scout and AIFF (All India Football Federation) Match Commissioner and Director of Proindia. We had a lengthy talk with Aparup about some of the latest futsal developments in India and about his Proindia project. In future, we can expect more of Aparup’s insight on Indian futsal. But let’s get started!

Aparup, can you please start by telling us a bit more about Proindia, what is your mission and how does it relate to futsal?

Proindia promotes grassroots and “uncelebrated” celebrities. We have been promoting futsal in India since 2014. We promote women's futsal, Baby League and 5-a-side slum soccer.  We nourish “unnoticed” talent. We're looking forward to “give” these talents to the rest of the world.

AIFF's Golden Baby League is mainly a small sided tournament for kids from under 6 to under 13 years of age. This is held under the auspices of All India Football Federation.

Proindia has brought something to Indian Football which is one of the most vital stepping stones in the overall development of the game. Proindia is partnered with Professional Football Scouts Association from United Kingdom.  Football analytics is very important in modern football. Proindia has joined hands with a football analytics company which will bring performance analysis of footballers from a tender age of 8 years to elite level senior players at Non-Residential Academies, Schools, Bengal Junior Football Teams, Bengal Senior Football Team, etc.

Sports have experienced a lot of unfortunate incidents where an athlete loses his/her life during the game, mostly from cardiac arrests. In multiple cases, it has been found that had there been any instant treatment during the game, the athlete could have been saved. Proindia organizes different workshops on CPD & AED training for the match officials – referees, match commissioners.

As I said, I have been associated with futsal since 2014. I was also a member of the Indian Football Association’s (West Bengal) sub-committee for Futsal Development.

We saw that Proindia also organized an Online Futsal Challenge Competition... Can you tell us more about it?

First of all, let me start by saying that Covid-19 is a curse. As a sports administrator, I tried to provide an opportunity to the kids and football lovers to get involved with their passion. Therefore, Proindia has organized Dream Futsal Challenge 2020. We have taken free registrations from 19 states of India in three age categories (under 12 years old, from 13 to 18 and older than 19).

I have shared a demo skill made by the world's best futsal player Ferrao! The kids/players from India tried to replicate his skill and technique and share their video with the Proindia’s team.

We have a judge’s panel which includes: Mr. Miguel Andrés Moreno, Assistant Coach of FC Barcelona Futsal, Mr. David Hobson, Head of Scout Education at Professional Football Scouts Association and Mr. Jorge Vazquez Di Biase, CEO of Neuro Football Spain.

In this way we tried to promote the concept of futsal across India as well, but also to occupy these young people in pandemic times and keep them interested in the game they love so much.

Most of our readers are familiar with Asian Futsal Premier Championship, or Premier Futsal as it was called for short. It had some decent success in India in 2016, but it turned out to be a short-term project. What is your take on this?

Premier Futsal was not organized under the aegis of AIFF. I think it should have been organized with proper permission from AIFF. The motive of that competition is still not clear with me. If you really want to promote this wonderful game of futsal in the Indian sports fraternity then why didn't you come in proper way? Then it would have been a giant step into the world of futsal! 

>>> Futsal Talks With Steve Harris, Asia's No. 1 Futsal Fanatic!

Despite India being a huge country, it is very hard to find any concrete information about futsal. Can you give us more information about some futsal leagues in India? Are there any, how many are there, how are they organized, etc.?

All India Football Federation has taken a great step in promoting futsal in India. They have started online futsal courses for the passionate coaches who want to take this game one more step forward. AIFF has also started referee’s education programs for futsal referees.

AIFF was supposed to start a Professional Futsal League in India in 2020 but due to pandemic we all have to wait. But, a couple of state association started futsal league in a smaller capacity. In Kolkata, where I’m from, IFA, the footballing state body of Bengal will start a Futsal League in 2021.

You have been involved with Indian futsal for quite some time now. What is your take on the potential of futsal in India, since India is the second most populous country in the world?

India will be amongst the Asian giants in the next 5 years! India even has the potential to qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2028 with a good result! 5-a-side football is in blood in some states like Goa, Kerala, Bengal & North East Regions. They are so skillful that if they are trained with proper futsal coaches, they can beat anyone in the world. Futsal will be the next generation sport of India.

Proindia has already tied up with Professional Football Scouts Association in UK, Liverpool Futsal Club from UK, Futsal Solutions in Italy and with F5 from Scotland. Proindia is launching Futsal Academy in India with some of the special gentlemen from the futsal world. We will have futsal specific programs for the kids aged 6 to 10 with futsal licensed coaches.

I am grateful to FutsalFeed for being the partner of Proindia. These small steps will take Indian futsal forward!

>>> Brief History of the AFC Futsal Championship

Any small thing we can do to promote futsal in India, but also worldwide, we’re happy to do it! It is high-time for futsal to be recognized as the best sport on Earth!