Two Futsal Facilities costing TT$2.5 million will be constructed in time for the Caribbean leg of the qualifying championships for the World Futsal series to be held in Chinese Taipei, next year.

This was announced by FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF boss Austin Jack Warner at the official launch of the local leg of the series in the Kent Hall Room of the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, Tunapuna, yesterday.

He added that work on the two facilities (at the Centre of Excellence), which will cater for 800 persons each, began on Thursday and will be ready in two months, in time for the Caribbean championships.

While praising the sponsors, GTECH Corporation, for forming a partnership with the local Football Federation, Warner put out a challenge to TTFF vice-president Raymond Tim Kee and his affiliates to take futsal to the schools (primary and secondary) and communities, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to play the game. “And when this is done, I will use my influence at FIFA to introduce a Futsal Women’s Championships.

Keith Look Loy, FIFA Development Officer, noted that the main objective of the tournament is to select a national team, within only two months, to represent T&T at the Caribbean Futsal Championships in April.

At the last Caribbean Futsal Tournament, only three countries participated. Twelve 12 will compete in this year’s tournament, to be hosted by T&T.

From the 12 competing nations, only two will qualify for the world championships in Chinese Taipei.

“Since we play five-a-side football already in T&T, I’m very confident it will be achievable; all we need to do is adapt to the rules of game,” he said.

The 36-team local leg of the futsal series is scheduled to kick off on Monday with 11 matches at five venues, from 7 pm. These venues will be Jean Pierre Complex, Woodbrook Youth Facility, Maloney Indoor Sports Complex, Central Regional Indoor Sports Complex and Southern Regional Indoor Sports Complex at Pleasantville.

The 36 teams have been placed in groups of nine, from which the top two teams will advance to the quarter-final knock-out stage.

The team winning the tournament, to de decided on Saturday, January 31, at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Educational Centre, will collect $10,000; the second-placed squad will get $7,500 and the third-placed team $5,000.

Tournament Groupings:

Zone “A” (East): Maloney Two Touch, Valencia Utd, XF La Horquetta, Matura Utd, Underground Movement, Joe Public, Junior Mafia, Santa Rosa CS, WASA Clean & White.

Zone “B” (West): Blue Ribbon Dream Team, Good Fellas, St Joseph TS, Heart Foods, Phoenix FC 1976, Street Life, Laventille Youths, Maracas Life Guards, Laventille Ball Masters.

Zone “C” (Central): Leeds FC, Caroni FC, Las Lomas , TSTT, Victors, National Scouts, Crab Connections, T&T Coast Guards, Santos.

Zone “D” (South): Couva Players, Club Sando, Princes Town YSS, D2F Shockers, Mayaro Spurs, UWI, Police, Chemical Ali, Smalta Extra.