Futsal could feature in future editions of the Commonwealth Games following calls from member associations for football to be added to the event’s sporting programme.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Prince Tunku Imran said the indoor five-a-side format could provide a cheaper option for hosts of the multi-sport event. Football or its futsal variation has never featured at a Commonwealth Games.
“The African countries want football to be played in the Games but the logistics and costs involved will be an obstacle,” said Tunku, according to Reuters. “Futsal would be a better option as the number of players and officials per team is fewer and playing indoors also has its benefits. Futsal is also a very popular sport as well.”
However, futsal’s chances of becoming a Commonwealth Games sport appear to be limited to the 2022 event, with the sporting programmes for the 2014 and 2018 Games already decided. The Commonwealth Games programme is comprised of 10 core sports and an additional seven optional sports which are chosen by the host city. Swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting are the 10 current core sports of the Commonwealth Games. Glasgow 2014 has elected to add cycling, gymnastics, judo, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling to its programme with Gold Coast 2018 substituting basketball for judo.