Feb 25 (Reuters) – Five-a-side indoor soccer, known as futsal, could feature in the Commonwealth Games after CGF President Prince Tunku Imran backed its inclusion amid calls from member associations for football to be added to the Games programme.
The Malaysian, a former squash national champion, said futsal could be a cheaper option for hosts of the mutli-sport event held every four years for more than 70 countries, mostly of the former British Empire.
“The African countries want football to played in the Games but the logistics and costs involved will be an obstacle,” Tunku was quoted as saying by Malaysian media on Monday.
“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.”
Soccer or futsal have never featured at a Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by the Scottish city of Glasgow in 2014.
Swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting are the 10 current core sports of the Commonwealth Games.
Each host is entitled to add up to seven sports from a Commonwealth Games Federation list.
(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford)