New Delhi: The organisers of the Premier Futsal League, announced on Tuesday amid much fanfare by Portugal football legend Luis Figo, on Thursday said that it has nothing to do with the Fifa as it has got recognition from the world governing body of the sport.
The game of Futsal, a variant of association football played five-a-side on a smaller field and mainly indoors, has two parallel world governing bodies -- Associacion Mundial de Futsal (AMF), also known as World Futsal Association, and the Fifa (International Federation of Association Football).
The franchise-based Premier Futsal League, which will take place across eight Indian cities from 15 to 24 July, will be held under the aegis of AMF and not under Fifa.
AMF vice-president and chief of Futsal Association of India (FIA) Namdev Shirgaonkar said that Fifa has nothing to do with the Premier Futsal.
"Premier Futsal League is being held under the aegis of FAI and AMF. Both AMF and FAI have given recognition to this League. AMF is the first global governing body of the game of Futsal and has been holding global tournaments," Shirgaonkar told PTI.
"They (Fifa or AIFF) are different organisations, we are a different organisation having different rules of the game. We are using our own set of rules for this league and not that of Fifa. So there is no question of Fifa being not happy with this league. Fifa or the AIFF can have their own league and we can have our own. Where is the problem," asked Shirgaonkar, who is also a member of the executive committee of the Indian Olympic Association.
"In India, we (FAI) are the body who are holding national championships -- even televised on Doordashan -- and we are the ones who have been involved in the development of the game in this country. Premier Futsal will lead to development of talent at the grassroots level in the country and will boost the sport's future in India," Shirgaonkar added.
Premier Futsal is set to bring together 56 international futsalers from four continents and 21 countries. Each team of 12 players will have three international players, one international marquee player and one Indian player.
Figo, who played with distinction for top Spanish sides Barcelona and Real Madrid, will be the president of the Premier Futsal League, started by Indian entrepreneurs under the entity Premier Futsal Management Private Limited.
Balu Nayar, Executive Director Premier Futsal, said, "The Management of Premier Futsal League would like to state that we have the necessary sanctions and permissions from the international and Indian governing body to conduct the league in India. We operate in partnership with the Associacion Mundial de Futsal (AMF), the international parent body for the sport as well as its Indian affiliate, the Futsal Association of India (FIA)."