Having been in a second lockdown for nearly two weeks here in Germany, I was surprised to see that live sports matches were still happened, just “behind closed doors”. Surprised, in the way that I had it in my head the whole country was on pause, but happy because it gave me an excuse to watch some more live sport as a new thing – something I love doing. Today’s new sport to discover was Futsal – a little like 5-a-side football.
Futsal originated in Uruguay as a way to play 5-a-side football inside and in all seasons. The game was a hit, adaptable to play on outdoor basketball courts too, and quickly became popular all over South America. I didn’t know much about futsal before I watched a match, but I was intrigued to find out.
I watched a European Qualifier between Germany and Switzerland that was shown live on YouTube of all places. I saw Futsal as a mash-up between basketball and football – the game is definitely still football (you still use anything but your hands/arms to touch the ball) but the teams of 5, indefinite substitutions, and time-out system are straight out of basketball.
The action was fast and frantic, a million miles away from some other new sports I’d seen this year, like baseball for example. This was far more my kind of sport – the only downside being if you looked away for a few minutes you would miss a lot of action, but that complaint is more about my attention span than the sport of Futsal. There was a lot of action to miss –8 goals in total: 3 for Switzerland, and 5 for Germany. We were a little confused when the Swiss team were celebrating after their loss whilst the German team held their head, but discovered that it was the second leg of the qualifiers, and the although Germany had won here, Switzerland had one overall, taking them through to the next round. I wish I’d looked that up beforehand because that would have definitely added a bit more drama to the viewing!
I loved the energy of futsal, and it’s definitely something that I’d like to watch again, only this time in the flesh. I can imagine the atmosphere being amazing when the arena would be filled with people!