There’s a sport that goes hand-in-hand with the holidays. It’s futsal. Hong Ki-yong, president of the Korea Futsal Association, said, “There are competitions every week from March to November. There are no futsal tournaments during the holidays. I would like to organize a futsal event during the holidays like folk wrestling.” Futsal is an indigenous sport that represents Korea along with wrestling and taekwondo.
Based on its wide base in daily sports, futsal has been running towards globalization since this year. The first world championship was successfully held in Yanggu, Gangwon Province, in August, and Korea was crowned the inaugural champion.
Driven by the momentum, Korean Sports Ministry President Lee Ki-heung met with IOC President Thomas Bach in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the 2nd of this month and submitted an application for recognition of futsal as a sport under the IOC. Korea is preparing to host the 2036 Olympics. As the host nation, it has the opportunity to have futsal recognized as an Olympic sport.
“I think we are lucky,” said Hong Ki-yong. If the 2036 Olympics are awarded, there will be room for futsal. The first world championship was well received not only in Asia but also in Europe and the Middle East. In March next year, we will hold a friendly match and referee training in Iraq. We will also invite neighboring Lebanon and Qatar. In Asia, Thailand has shown interest in organizing a futsal tournament. They are also trying to qualify for the Asian Games. The 2036 Olympics is a great opportunity,” he said. Whether or not futsal is included in the 2036 Olympics could make or break the history of Korea’s unique ball game.
While the KFA is looking to globalize, it also wants to build a stronger domestic presence. Next May, for Family Month, the organization will create a special outdoor stadium in Gwanghwamun Square to showcase the spectacular play of its players. It’s an effort to popularize the sport. The female futsal population is also growing. There are 48 women’s teams registered nationwide and the number is steadily increasing. The federation is also active in promoting the women”s game. They”re also trying to organize sports in schools, such as after-school classes. It”s also important to establish a system that guarantees the livelihood of futsal players and coaches. The goal is to expand the sport from elementary school to university, and to promote unemployment teams to professional and medal sports.
For this, policy support is essential. Wrestling and taekwondo are supported under the Sports Promotion Act. Futsal is not yet included. The Korean Futsal Association believes that the bang for the buck in terms of popularization and spread is more evident than any other sport. “We are a sports deficit country,” says Hong. Other countries accept many sports and have various support systems. We support sports that have a narrow base and are at the club level, but we don’t support sports that started in Korea, so we are a sports deficit country,” he said, echoing the call for support for futsal.토토사이트
It is also a reality that futsal is firmly established as a living sport, but not as a professional sport. If it is recognized as a professional sport, the scale of support will change. Therefore, this year, the World Federation was established and the first international tournament was held. The sport will be recognized as a professional sport if it holds three or more international competitions. In Korea, the plan is to introduce a futsal promotion system by dividing leagues from the first to the seventh division. The growth of futsal from a recreational sport to a professional sport has additional effects. Businesses will be created by exporting the sport and selling related products. A snowball effect can be expected.