The T&T Football Association, which has stated its desire to have every national team qualify for its respective Fifa World Cup by 2018, has taken its first step to achieving that feat for national futsal, as the official governing body for the sport- the Futsal Association of T&T (FATT), was publicly launched yesterday.
Futsal, a variant of football played indoors by five outfield players and a goalkeeper, was described by the association’s recently-appointed president Geoffrey Edwards as the “T-20 of football”, which he said is once again making headway into a nation graced with talent.
The launch took place at the TTFA’s head office at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, two months after the FATT and the T&T Beach Soccer Association were awarded full membership status by the TTFA.
The ultimate ambition for both the TTFA and the FATT is to quality this nation to the 2016 Fifa Futsal World Cup, which will take place in Bogota, Colombia. Before qualifying competition takes place, a senior men’s futsal team will need to assemble the country’s best players. Former national captain Clayton Morris has been given the task of spearheading the talent search.
No fixed dates have been set for the Caribbean Football Union’s qualifying phase toward the Concacaf round, but Edwards said plans are already in place to ensure that a balanced team is prepared. “Before we focus on qualifying, we must get a competent team; one with a balance of experience and youth. We must also have a succession plan,” he said.
While talent will be scouted across the nation through the organisation of screening sessions and tournaments, the FATT will boost the coaching and officiating aspects of the sport through a series of courses and seminars.
“The FATT wants to be an organization that is professional, dynamic and a pioneer for the sport. Our organisation is prepared to break the barriers of the sport locally and go beyond the limits to ensure that T&T is a global force in the sport,” said Edwards.
He added, “I want the sport to be known as a sport for all, for both genders, all creeds and races. This sport must represent T&T in the best way. This is futsal for all with no consideration of demographics.”