World renowned Futsal star Alessandro Rosa Vieira, also known as Falcao, on Monday threw his weight behind the introduction of the Premier Futsal League in India, amid strong opposition from the country’s football federation.
Citing “non-interference” from FIFA, Falcao felt it was time the All India Football Federation (AIFF) gave recognition to the first-ever multi-national Futsal league set to be played in India from July 15 to 24, with each game split into two halves of 20 minutes each.
In an interview, Falcao told PTI, “There are several private Futsal leagues that also happen world over and I have played in Dubai, Kuwait, USA etc. and they never had any interference from the AMF or the FIFA.”
“As a player, I feel this is a great opportunity to popularise the sport in India by bringing the best Futsal players in the world. Premier Futsal and other Futsal tournaments will enhance the sporting ecosystem here and give people another sport to choose as a viewer, audience or a player.”
After its launch, AIFF President Praful Patel and Secretary Kushal Das expressed opposition to the league and declared that the body is mulling legal action. The AIFF even considered starting a similar tournament of its own, and this was not lost on Falcao, who is also called the ‘Pele of Futsal’.
“The launch of Premier Futsal was the introduction of Futsal to India. I have heard since its launch, the India’s apex football body has also announced the launch of their own Futsal League and I think that is the biggest validation for Premier Futsal and for Futsal as a sport in general. Given the high intensity nature of the sport, the Indian youth is going to embrace Futsal,” the 39-year-old Brazilian from Sao Paulo said.