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Futsal and the Olympic Games

The article is from "The Straits Times"

SEP 21 1999


FUTSAL, the five-a-side indoor version of football, looks likely to make it to the Olympics. 
Asian Football Confederation general secretary Peter Velappan said yesterday that Fifa would be pushing for the game to be included in the 2004 Athens Games.

He added: "There is a move to increase the number of teams for women's football from eight
to 12 by the next Olympics in Sydney.

"And it will be futsal after that. Maybe with a small number of eight for a start."

Futsal, an international term derived from the Spanish word Fut for soccer and Sal, the Spanish word for indoor, is played with a size-four ball on a hard surface with the "field" the size of a basketball court.

It is played in two halves of 20 minutes with a 10-minute break in between. Each team is allowed only five fouls and every foul after that is punished by a 12-metre penalty. Players sent off can be replaced but only after a two-minute lapse.

Each team is allowed a minute's time-out in each half and there are no shoulder charges or sliding tackles. Unlike the 11-a-side field version, there is unlimited rotational substitution.

Brazil is presently the world champion having won the last World Cup in Spain in 1996 while Spain is defending the Tiger 5s title.