David Beckham wowed the crowds at the Grand Opening of the @Futsal Birmingham International Arena

OP David Beckham lookalike made an appearance at the grand opening of the biggest five-a-side football arena in Europe on Saturday 16th October. The ‘spitting image’ of the former England Captain wowed the 300 visitors at the flagship @Futsal arena in Handsworth, having photos taken with excited crowds from 12pm. VIP’s included a number of senior members of the Birmingham FA and local business leaders.

The Sportsco FC Tournament was a huge success and winners included Deanery for the Under 8’s, Deanery Dragons for the under 9’s, Holy Cross for the Under 10’s and Walmley Stars for the under 11’s. Visitors also had the opportunity to take part in taster soccer clinics, a street soccer exhibition and a charity tournament in aid of Acorn Children’s Hospice helped alongside other activities to raise a massive £150 over the weekend.

The exhibition match between FA National Futsal Premier League club Team United saw lucky dads from the Birmingham area having the chance to play alongside current FA National Futsal League stars including Habeel Nawaz Emmanuel Gueyes, Nino Amuli, Chris Bloore, and Juniad Khan of Team United Birmingham.
 
The international indoor Futsal arena - set to become the number one football venue in the Midlands – will see community members young and old playing grass roots football that will give them the technical skills to better their playing ability. Local interest has been massive and keen football teams have already pre-registered to taste what is reported to be fastest growing indoor sport on the planet.

The high-tech @Futsal arena will provide a modern indoor football experience, running adult and youth Futsal (5-a-side) leagues every night of the week, a national education scholarship programme for 16-19 year olds, and exciting competitions and tournaments.  Already The FA, Premier League and professional clubs are in talks with @Futsal over hosting future events including international games, The FA Futsal Cup and regular FA national league fixtures. Futsal is the only form of indoor small sided football officially recognised by FIFA and the only format that boasts an England international side, which is steadily creeping up the world rankings. It is currently a key element of the world football agenda.

Frank Rodriguez, the man behind @Futsal Ltd, is excited to launch the arena to Birmingham. He says “We had a really successful weekend launching our flagship arena in Birmingham and thought it was great how the whole community came together to take part in the many activities we had on offer. The David Beckham lookalike went down a storm with the visitors and we managed to raise a fantastic amount for Acorn Children’s Hospice while showing everyone exactly what @Futsal is about. “

The @Futsal Birmingham arena – which is on the hunt for teams to sign up to its leagues and competitions - offers music and video while you play, a Sports Bar/cafe, electronic pitch-side score boards, high tech Futsal sports flooring used in leading FA competitions, a multifunction room, and changing rooms with showers. In addition visitors can visit the Retail Zone where you can buy all things Futsal, enjoy Sky TV viewing and expect ample car parking.

World Cup champions Spain are the world leaders in the game, and a number of their world class players attribute their abilities to Futsal. The game is played between two teams of five players, with each squad comprising of up to 12 players. Substitutes can be made on a ‘rolling’ basis, and as in normal 11 a-side football, playing arena boundaries are marked with lines and not walls or boards. The ball can be kicked above head height with goals being a similar size to hockey goals. Corners can be taken and throw-ins are replaced by kick-ins from touch lines, both of which must be taken within four seconds. The ball is a regulation size 4 ball but with a reduced bounce, encouraging good control and technique.

For more information on the Birmingham @Futsal arena head to www.futsaluk.net or call 0121 554 3296 to sign up for a taster session.

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About @Futsal, Birmingham

* @Futsal Birmingham: Birmingham International Futsal Arena, Great King Street North, Handsworth, Birmingham B19 2LF (Tel: 0121 554 3296 

*  ‘Futsal’ combines the Spanish words for ‘hall’ which is ‘sala’ and ‘football’’ which is 
        ‘futbol’.

* Futsal is the only officially recognised form of indoor football by worldwide football governing body FIFA. It is also supported by UEFA and the FAW, and is emerging as an integral part of their plans. It is the world’s fastest growing sport with 30million players across the globe.

* The game is played between two teams of five players, each team being allowed up to seven substitutes due to the energetic nature of the game. Although similar to football in some respects, playing arena boundaries are marked with lines and not walls or boards, and the ball can be kicked above head height so goals are a similar size to hockey goals. Corners can be taken and throw-ins are replaced by kick-ins from touch lines, both of which must be taken within four seconds.