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Futsal's local legacy in Colombia

Futsal's local legacy in Colombia

Dan Parnell and Paul Widdop look at the potential legacy of the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup took place from 10 September to 01 October in Colombia, with Argentina beating Russia in the final. Futsal is still a relatively new format of football, but FIFA has driven the development of the game and the event has been held regularly since 1989. As with the full sided version, there is a legacy aspect of the tournament. What can hosting an event like this mean to the social and cultural development of the host city?

Dr Dan Parnell, of Manchester Metropolitan University, and Dr Paul Widdop, of Leeds Beckett University, have outlined the legacy potential for Bucaramanga, Medellin and Cali – the three host cities. New footballing structures and facilities have been created to host the event, but these are set to play a crucial role in facilitating social change and improving living standards in the cities. The School Programme has been designed through a partnership between FIFA and the Colombian Football Association (FCF) to promote the playing of the game in schools by 6-12 year olds. Coaches have been trained to act as educators and facilitators to increase participation among boys and girls.

Football facilities have acted as an urban intervention to encourage participation in sport and physical activity. There are gyms and basketball courts as well as swimming pools and water zones. Beyond the sporting aspect, these facilities act as social influencers. There are places for children to play, cinemas, community spaces and teaching rooms. There is a sense of ownership among the community, fostering empowerment and nurturing potential.

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 11:02