AFA/Vikings block others from playing Thai Womens team


AFA logoAs 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.

Comments 25

  1. Futsal in Australia is never going to progress to a true international level until this divisiveness is resolved and unfortunately the fact that there is no leadership shown by the “governing body” and it’s state affiliates only compounds the problem. In 2012 FFA wrote to FIFA affiliates and informed them that AFA is not part of FFA and requesting that FIFA affiliates do not engage in competition against them. The fact that the Thai National team travelled to Australia to play the AFA Aust and Qld women’s teams and then allowed themselves to be threatened into not playing FIFA affiliated teams says little for FFA’ s authority.

  2. @Tindale17 – talk about spin here! How the hell is this FFA’s fault?

    Clearly AFA are the bully’s here, They threatened to kick the Thai’s out of their hotel if they played an “FFA” team and even went as far as banning their coach from talking with FFA Futsal people.

    For years AFA/Vikings have taken the high moral position they only care about developing the game and the players……clearly that’s just BS

    1. @futsaldad, obviously my comment has been misunderstood. Through family i had an interest in the Thai team playing the FFA games and so I can assure you there is no “spin” here, I abhor AFA’s actions and agree about their bullying attitude. I was simply pointing out the state of Futsal in Aust, particularly in QLD.

  3. As a preface, I despise Vikings Futsal/AFA. The way their organisation is run is a joke and their concept of getting anyone and everyone to play in their ‘elite’ tournaments for participation numbers despite players not knowing basic laws, teams having mismatching strips, players even playing without shinpads and promotional materials that look like they were created in MS Paint by a year 7 student. Then their is the cunning business mind of the executive, who used substantial government grants designed to ‘develop’ the sport of Futsal as a basis to expand his business on a profit is king attitude, rather than true development of the sport. (Always found it funny too that Vikings Futsal sponsored Greyhound Racing at the clubs certain Vikings staff raced greyhounds at! Excellent use of marketing money!)

    However, the way I see it, the AFA were well within their rights. They’ve organised it and FFA has tried to piggyback itself onto an AFA initiative (seemingly) without consultation, and almost definitely with no share of the costs. For arguments sake, if the FFA had brought the Japanese men’s side to play a series of games, do you think they would have permitted an AFA team to play against them? I very highly doubt it! (Let’s also remind ourselves that a few years ago the FFA threatened that any player at Vikings Nationals would be ineligible for Futsalroo selection!)

    The big issue here though is, why in 2013 has the FFA still not created a true national pathway for elite women’s players?! It’s completely deplorable! The Futsal community should be rallying behind our women and girls and demanding for the creation of a true national women’s squad that may train and compete under the banner of the FFA national team programs.

    1. @cierre13 it was actually AFA/Vikings that said FFA players were ineligible for their “Australian” Teams and also would not allow players playing at AFA nationals to play @ FFA Nationals. Steve Knight, the Futsalroo coach has said that he will take the best players out there regardless whether they play for both, obviously they do need to be registered with FFA to be selected

    2. You are completely wrong about FFA piggybacking….. Read the article. The players were assembled by a contact here in Aus to play against the Thais. No mention of FFA. The Thai seemingly just wanted more bang for their buck in the way of games and were willing to look elsewhere when Vikings only offers them the 4 games. In fact if you read the article it doesn’t state FFA was involved at all. Just a group of Brisbane based players as well as a group of interstate based players. Stop the FFA bashing in that regard. Vikings are just being petty and we all know. A for an FFA women’s based program, there won’t be one until there is something to participate in. The men basically get no money so what chance do the women have? It’s going to be up to the girls, and various people in positions of power at clubs around the country to drive something like that, and there is definitely talk around the traps.

      1. Indoor 5s would like to help……… at least in NSW anyway. Call me and we can have a chat.

  4. I think the ffa link is because it claims ffa Allstats side were unable to play..I guess the facts are the afa subsidized costs for the Thais , so should they pay for a rival to get game time against their guests…
    This isn’t about stopping people playing its about right and wrong.. If the FFA Allstats wanted a game they should have chipped in to cover costs for the Thais… It’s really pretty simple if you be honest… Definately not the big bad guys just trying to protect their investment.. I’m sure if shoe was on other foot the same would happen..
    Remember when fnsw threatened all the girls going to china with afa they would be kicked out of premier league…. Protecting interests there…
    The big issue is FFA have done nothing with sport and should have. No major tournaments is a pisspoor excuse.

    1. Have you read the article? Where does it say ffa allstars? i read it, its says the ffa had no team for them to play. how can the allstars play if the ffa says they had no team of play them. what story are you reading?

      vikings fan much?

    2. @forreal – FFA did not organise any team nor players to go play the Thai team. The Thai coaching staff had an alternate contact in Australia and asked for more games if possible. Just because the players are registered FFA players does not mean they are sent/organised by FFA! FFA wouldn’t have a clue about those players that were gathered to go up. And please be more informed when you make a statement. FNSW attempted to prevent girls playing Vikings Nationals that year not the girls that were selected to go to China. FNSW then retracted their attempt in banning the players and also openly admitted it was the wrong decision and apologised. From there on in they have allowed players to do whatever they like but encourage clubs and players to stay within affiliate Competitons to simply support the sport.

  5. If you read more about this than just one article then you would know that’s what they were called.. What’s Viking?? All I saying is no one would allow a rival to play when they have spent the money…
    That’s like when super league was around… Or the British lions brought out by rugby Australia…. But the nrl will play them

    1. So your trying to say Federation Futsal is a different type of game/sport from Vikings/AFA Futsal? Are you reading what your saying??? If you don’t know what Vikings is then sit and pipe down because you are clearly only new to the sport or you are too young to know that AFA rebranded themselves. And again are to reading the article? Clearly not. Thailand, yes Thailand not Australia (for everyone else reading this is this slept in English?) asked an Australian contact they had here in Australia for more games. The contact then spread word to a few players who they knew would be up for the challenge. Why would you not ask some of the best players to come along for the challenge. You would be stupid not too. All bookings for those players were not made until a 100% conformation was given by the Thai management and the Australian contact who had a professional from Thailand translating communication for the two parties. No suggestion of the hit out being a professional friendly game. A Training game. Almost like if the Thai team had arranged to do some community engagement while they were here. If Vikings/AFA were as focused on developing the game they would have done stuff like that to utilise professional coaches and players being in the country but nooooooo that would be a great idea for the sport wouldn’t it.

  6. The story is clearly missing some key information, did AFA/Vikings pay for Thailand to come over? If so they are well within their right to only allow the Thailand team to play against their members. If not, then they have no authority over the team.

    Having said that, i can’t help but wonder why Thailand would be using personal contact to arrange more games? One can only assume they are not happy with the quality of service that AFA/Vikings has provided and juding by the match photos and my previous experience with Vikings i wouldn’t be suprised!!!!

  7. The Thais come as guests of afa mate which means afa can tell them what they do..
    And using rugby a d nrl as an example champ.. I’m aware both FFA and afa are futsal I’m just saying when an organization funds a visit they have every right….
    Maybe the ffa through the contact could arrange these such matches in Australia for girls.. That wouks give them something to play for right…. But they won’t spend money to ensure it happens… Unlike afa who put their hand into their pocket… Looking at the afa team in the pics there are numerous players whom would make any team selected in this country….

    1. AFA provided accommodation- that was kind of identified in the original news article posted when they state “AFA/Vikings threatened to pull the tour out from under the Thais”. AFA set up accommodation at the pub motel across the road from AFA head office at Acacia Ridge so the Thais only had to walk across the road to get to games. The issue here is. Alistair Miller the CEO of AFA/Vikings Futsal has refused to communicate about this with anyone outside of AFA/Vikings. Even prior to the Thai team even playing any opposition in Australia the CEO ignored all forms of contact. No response to emails, missed calls or voicemails. Sir Ali is a true professional!

      I’m not too sure why you are going on a tangent about the type of players in the squads as they have nothing to do with the situation. But while you choose to bring it up let’s air this information….
      For all the girls in the Aus squad know, the fee they are being charged to go to Colombia could have assisted in funding the cost to host the Thai national team. AFA are happy to pay for another nation to come here yet they have the audacity to charge those girls around the AU$6000 mark to represent their own country. Why? To have bragging rights in Australia that they are doing something for the sport. But is that really doing anything for the sport? Have AFA ever gone back to Thailand to improve. No, lets just send kids to England, America, New Zealand where futsal is really thriving and developing the best players in the world (I know they have sent kids to Spain and Brazil but its not the priority destination for AFA tours).

      I actually have great sympathy for the girls having to fork out that amount of money. The exchange rate to Colombian Pesos is strong. Return flights to Barrancabermeja, Colombia (host city) are around the AU$2000-2200 mark depending on flight path. 5-4 Star accommodation twin share is around AU$130p/n for lets say 12 nights (competition is 10 days), that roughly $800 for accom per player in the City of the tournament – Barrancabermeja. Ground transport and gear lets throw in another $500 even though it will be well under that per player. And I doubt meals will be included but hey we will throw that in too just in case AFA decide to step up the professionalism and we will round that up at $3,800. Not sure if AMF charge expenses but they haven’t been included for this reason. These price estimates are using the most expensive options. There is still roughly $2000 missing. Where is the money or where is the money going should we really say? Are AFA making a profit on players who are working their behinds off to wear the green and gold?? Are coaching staff getting a free trip thanks to the players or are they forking out $6000 of their own hard earned cash as well? Considering team staff have barely any if no recognisable coaching credentials when it comes to coaching education, who in their right mind would allow a national team to be lead like that on the world stage at any International tournament wether it be AMF or FIFA. Nice can of worms you just opened @Forreal. And don’t bother coming back with the price charged to players includes their training camps and their trip to NEW ZEALAND which was published in a previous Vikings article (http://futsal4all.com/2013/02/afa-womens-world-cup-squad-named/). AFA players also had to pay their own way to play Thailand as well. Let be honest here, looking back through previous Vikings articles on this website AFA/Vikings are really consistent with one thing – BLOWING SMOKE UP THE PUBLICS ARSE. I stumbled across this article the other day http://futsal4all.com/2010/03/vikings-national-womens-squad-announced/ and liaised with individuals who were around during this time and they confirmed that only 3 out of 9 points listed actually happened. 1 of the training camps, the October trip to KL and the 2011 Australian Vikings Nationals.

      One more thing – The photo linked to most media articles from the first game between AFA Australia and Thailand with the referee in the background is pictured wearing what strongly appears to be a FFA Futsal Referees uniform with the RESPECT badge (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=495653140507462&set=a.383789288360515.89472.383763945029716&type=1&theater). I thought AFA don’t use FIFA by-laws or were they not honest with the Thai federation? Or has AFA used the exact same shape and design of the FFA Futsal referees logo for their own Referees so it is harder to identify who you are being refereed by. It’s 100% miss leading if this is the case.

      In saying all that, good luck to all the girls involved in the AFA team. It’s just a shame how AFA do business. I strongly believe the CEO has the interest of the sport second to his own pockets

  8. At least the had a plan mate…. And Steve 2 training camps occured as did state of origin and the kl trip and nationals so yeah they made a start… Better than what your beloved ffa have done.
    The question remains, who paid the accommodation for the Thais. Afa or FFA?? And when the Thais initially contacted yourself why didn’t you take them up on the opportunity??? It wasn’t till you decided to jump on for a free ride off the afa paying….
    And it’s better for players to go away than never get an opportunity surely that’s better than nothing… Ohh and if the Ffa supported all levels and gave opportunity then it would be worth it..
    As for quality I mentioned it cause someone else had a dig at the standard, I reckon even you would acknowledge the ability of players in that squad

  9. Reality is when it comes it women’s futsal football federation Australia are a complete joke… They use the excuse no tournament for girls to play but if they looked then there would be they hit don’t want too… Since 1997 there has only been 2 women’s teams to tour and none since early 200’0’s…
    The point is the afa have tried to get something going for girls and it’s great… You can’t knock that no matter what angle you take…
    The sad part is the standard at nationals in Canberra keeps dropping because the best girls no longer go its a waste as their is no prestige anymore.. It’s just a drinkathon!!!

  10. Steve 2 training camps? I’m sorry I will have to correct you again with facts. State of origin was held in 2009.http://futsal4all.com/2009/06/womens-state-of-origin-futsal/ and there has not been a state of origin held since.

    Beloved FFA. Not really, I’m just discussing facts. But since you brought it up tsn’t there a women’s futsal league running right now with 8 teams from the eastern seaboard of Australia and half of the Australian AFA women’s team is playing in that federation competition?

    Firstly, how does the question still remain about the accom? Please re-read the first sentence of my previous post. The answer is not cryptic. I do envy how you avoid all of the questions/statements yet jump straight onto the defensive and start bagging with personal opinion but not with reliable factual evidence. I agree they should be doing more. That’s an opinion held by almost every futsal lover in the country but how do you expect them to take futsal seriously when futsal people can’t take the game seriously and continually disrespect the game on various levels in both organisations (playing, coaching and administration)?

    Secondly, all good and well for overseas opportunities but what is the purpose of sending a child or adult to another country where futsal is not thriving? Is that going to make them a better futsal player? It just turns into a glorified holiday where AFA make a profit off the player.

    Thirdly, yes you are correct the last official female tour was in the early 2000’s. That is definitely a major problem and something that needs to be rectified immediately.

    Fourthly, I would be very careful with finger pointing about social behaviours. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. Nationals in general has lost it’s prestige at a senior level in both AFA and FFA. The focus is now on a sustainable national futsal league for seniors. In women you are seeing majority of the best players from Australia playing in this competition and a good percentage of the men.

    And finally, why would the Thai national team management contact me? I’m not in the FFA office.

    And so it’s on the record, I want to say congratulation and good luck to the ladies who will be going away later this year. They need to be left out of this situation as this thread has nothing to do with the players ability or selection. It appears pro AFA/Vikings Futsal people bring this up as their first point of argument whenever an AFA/FFA topic is discussed.

  11. we will never agree……. this is pointless…… the only point i am making is….. despite everything once the afa paid the bill they didnt need to allow anyone else access to the team they paid for……. that righ there is the only issue.
    also the f league is great and hopefully thrives………

    as for ffa, i would need a calculator the amount of promises came out of the ffa people over the past year since vikings arrived to the ladies in order to keep them…… i simply hope one comes true.

  12. Forreal, iI will make 1 point. You are an idiot who has made an absolute fool of himself on this forum. Not once in the original article did it mention FFA. The article was about Vikings threatening to revoke accommodation of a touring team yet you turned it into an AFA vs FFA debate. There is plenty happening in the world of FFA in regards to women and the F-League is proof of that.

  13. The point is well made by AFA/Vikings that they paid to host the Thai’s, therefore they feel they owned them. I accept the mantra “its a business decision”.

    Only problem is that time and time again the same body has positioned themselves as holier than thou and existing only for the benefit of the sport and the kids. Its good they are finally flying their true colours.

    Finally AFA cannot claim to be doing great things for the women’s national team when every player has to pay their costs and AFA makes a profit out of it.

  14. I can not believe I have just read so much clueless rubbish and non-educated garbage about AFA above. My only comment has to be to go away and do some research into the organization and how it is set up before you start talking about profits etc as it can’t even happen within legislation.
    Also the tours to England and USA in particular are very quickly developing countries in the world of Futsal as is Australia so I am not sure where that comment comes from either.
    My point is to educate yourself before commenting, politics always seems to come first in this sport rather than the good of the game.
    The above issues would be avoided if players wanting to play Thailand were registered with AFA who were the ones who organized the tour.

  15. fullcourtpress is obviously someone who has been sacked in the past or not picked for a squad through Vikings I would suggest

  16. Falcao,
    Here is a quote from your post above – ” My point is to educate yourself before commenting”

    Then you go and make a ridiculous comment like this one – ” fullcourtpress is obviously someone who has been sacked in the past or not picked for a squad through Vikings I would suggest ”

    Let me let you in on a little secret…………..EVERY Futsal Player in Queensland has been picked to play for a Vikings Squad at one stage or another, particularly a so called Australian Team.

    It’s hilarious at the amount of Players I come across who have told me that they’ve represented an Australian Vikings Team and they can’t even pass a ball to feet standing 5 metres away without any pressure!!!
    They are normally a bit stumped when I ask them about the selection process they endured to make the final team. The most common answer is, ” I received a letter suggesting I have been selected for an overseas tour and my parents need to pay $6K.

    It’s all about the numbers!!!

  17. Falcao – You are the best! Telling everyone to educate themselves before commenting. Lovely advice, you should really take it on board. Two games were blocked. One was with players from southern states of Australia. The other game was with a group of Brisbane/Sunshine Coast players who majority ARE currently registered with AFA. How was your first lesson at FACT school?

    Also not a bitter ex employee nor unpicked player. Although there are plenty of them floating around the traps with some great reliable first hand experience and information.

    I agree with you that futsal has now begun to develop quickly in those countries but going on a tour to the USA and playing a no name club team labelled as the “USA” or “MEXICO” isn’t the same as going to the USA and going to a venue where Coach Tozer is running a national ID camp and Australian kids getting the chance to play the actual future of US Futsal.

    Samba – If I had a dollar for every time I was told a player had represented Australia in Futsal I would be very wealthy.

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