As many are aware the Thailand Womens team have been playing recently against the Australian Futsal Association(AFA)/Vikings National Womens Squad as well as the AFA Queensland team in Brisbane.
In information we have seen, aside to those games against the AFA/Vikings the Thai team management had requested additional games from the FFA, to help their team prepare in the build-up to an international tournament they are attending later this month. The FFA let them know there wasn’t an official Womens program, and so the Thai coaching staff used their personal contacts within Australia to arrange additional games.
Along with a local Brisbane based team, a very strong team of interested players was quickly organised to be able to travel up to Brisbane (at the players own expense) to play the Thai’s mid-week as requested, but were then left in the lurch when AFA/Vikings threatened to pull the tour out from under the Thais if they played any other team. The Thai’s then cancelled the additional games at the last minute as a result of the risk to their tour, and all players travelling were left potentially out of pocket.
We were very surprised to hear of AFA/Vikings doing this, especially when their own website states that their mission is :
“To bring Futsal to as many Australian communities as possible, providing opportunities for players of all levels to enjoy the game that we love. We are dedicated to delivering a professional and inclusive product with a friendly and respectful attitude at all times. We see Futsal as a sport , not a form of training for another sport.”
Using threats to stop people from playing Futsal is a fairly petty and on the face of it, a low act, particularly given that many of the players involved have supported AFA/Vikings in their endeavours to grow the Womens game.
Are AFA/Vikings scared that another team may show up their own National team when it comes to results against the Thais?
The whole situation is messy and looks to be a big over-reaction from AFA/Vikings, and unfortunately the most likely result of their actions will be many of the top Female players in the country no longer wanting to be associated with them.
We hope this sort of act isn’t repeated in the future. Its not a good look for our wonderful sport.