The AFF Bangkok Futsal Club Championship which begins tomorrow in the region’s capital of the indoor game Bangkok, is laying the foundation for future of the game in ASEAN.
And while club Futsal is nothing new to the world, having a simultaneous men and women’s meet meant that the AFF are forging ahead into an unknown territory which could well spell a new dawn of the highly-popular five a side game.
Main sponsor of the tournament Felda, who had also injected cash into the inaugural meet in 2014 but that was delayed to early January this year in Jakarta due to some technicalities, are looking at the overall picture rather than a myopic view of developing the game domestically.
Felda is an agricultural giant from Malaysia.
“We are looking at developing the game of club Futsal to a higher level,” said Felda team manager Hasran Hussin. “We have been developing Futsal in Malaysia for years and it is time that we expand the horizon.
“After last year’s tournament (in Indonesia) we felt that the game still have a lot of room for improvement and we hope that this year’s meet will be even more exciting.”
ADDITIONAL QUOTES – WOMEN’S
“This will be a good tournament to develop women’s Futsal. And having a club championship is a step in the right direction.” – Saeid Khodaarahmi, the head coach of ACE FC
“Thailand have a strong tradition in the sport but not enough is being done for the women’s game, so this championship is very important.” – Nuengrutai Srathongvian, the head coach of Asian Scholars
“We are looking forward for this championship as this is the first time that we are taking a women’s team to a regional competition.” – Robert Valera, the head coach of Dural Warriors
“There are no opportunities to play women’s Futsal team from the region, so this championship will be very good for ASEAN.” – Ngo Le Bang, head coach of defending champions Thai Son Nam FC
ADDITIONAL QUOTES – MEN’S
“We are very excited to take part in this tournament as this is the first time that we are playing against teams from the region.” – Chamnan Chairit, team manager of Thai Port FC
“This is a new tournament against strong opponents. So it will be a good test for us to see where we stand and how we can be better.” – Zaw Thu Mg, team manager of MIC FC
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing against some of the big clubs from the region. It will be a good test.” – Bobby Mazevski, team manager of East Coast Heat FC
“It is a very exciting prospect with some good teams from the region. So we are certainly looking forward to a good tournament.” – Nguyen Thanh Hoa, team manager of Khanh Hoa FC