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There are 2 theories as to why Futsal, being one of the most practiced sports in the world, if not the most, is not yet part of the Olympic framework.

The first is that, for a sport to become Olympic, it is necessary that it follows some criterias, required by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is the entity responsible for organizing and managing the Olympic games. It is the one who dictates what comes and goes, and what can or cannot happen.

The entity recognized worldwide as the organizer of Futsal is FIFA, which is also the organizer of Football, as many of you know. FIFA is the one that should make the formal request to the IOC to include Futsal in the Olympics. But for FIFA to make this request, it first must meet the requirements imposed by the IOC for a sport to become Olympic.

First, FIFA would have to get together with all its national federations such as, Brazilian Federation, the Royal Spanish Federation, the Portuguese Federation, and others, in order to have unified rules in the sport, a requirement from the IOC. Although it is not possible, the truth is that Futsal has different rules in different countries, for example in Russia, where an official game has 2 halves of 25 minutes, when it is recommended by FIFA two halves of 20 minutes. In addition, it is also required that the sport, in this case Futsal, has a women's and youth World Cups, which FIFA has not yet created

Another criteria also required is that the sport has to be practiced by men in at least 75 countries on 3 different continents and by women, the sport has to be popular in at least 40 countries on 3 different continents. There are many requirements demanded by the IOC and some of these FIFA has already fulfilled, such as the sport being widely practiced by men and women in the world, but others we have to go much further in order to have Futsal as an Olympic sport.

The other theory, which is less believed to be true, is that there's a political war between FIFA and the IOC, which avoids Futsal from becoming Olympic. The first disagreement between the two entities is about football. If you don't know it yet, Football is in the Olympic Games. However, the sport in the Olympics for men is only for players under the age of 23, with the possibility of having in each team 3 players over the age limit. But why this limit? FIFA believes that it would be irrational to have Football without the restriction at the Olympics and 2 years later to have the Football World Cup. It argues that by having the sport open at the Olympics, it would take the shine and prestige out of the world cup, which only happens every 4 years, being the most watched broadcasted event in the world. That is why there are such age restrictions.

The IOC does not agree with it, but as it is a requirement imposed by FIFA, and the IOC believes that Football is imperative for the Olympic Games, as it is the most popular sport, the requirement is accepted.

The second disagreement between the two entities is related to the Men's Futsal World Cup. As in Football, the Futsal World Cup takes place every 4 years, with Brazil being the biggest champion of the competition with 5 titles out of the 8 total editions played. The problem is that the Men's Futsal World Cup takes place in the same year as the Olympics and it would be infeasible to have both competitions, The World Cup and Futsal in the Olympics, in the same year. So either FIFA would have to change the dates of the World Cup, but for being a for-profit company, it doesn't want this to really happen because it would decrease its profits generated at the Futsal World Cup, or as the IOC believes that Futsal is a variant of Football, in the Olympics the sport would have to have the same rules as Football, with players aged at most 23 years old in Men's Football.

So, these are the reasons why it's believed that Futsal is not yet part of the Olympic Games. If you have any questions or anything you want to know more about Futsal, comment down here cause we are always keeping an eye on it. I hope this article has provided you with interesting and valuable Futsal information.

1 Comment

so, in both cases, the blame falls on the same 4 letter institution...

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