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New Futsal indoor arena opens

A new international indoor football arena dedicated to playing Futsal, the official FIFA and FA indoor five-a-side football format, is opening in Leeds in August.

The new @Futsal site will be located at Millshaw Park, near the White Rose shopping centre.

Leeds City Council has given planning permission for an empty 50,000 square foot warehouse to be converted into a high-tech centre with eight pitches, changing rooms, a bar, coffee lounge and a conference room.

There is also an area devoted to training and education, with ample room for parking and a large number of spectators.

The new Leeds arena will be managed by Britain’s leading Futsal operator @Futsal, which already runs centres in Cardiff, Swindon and Europe’s largest Futsal facility in Birmingham.

New jobs

It will create over 30 new jobs in various disciplines ranging from arena management and sales management through to coaching and refereeing – local people are invited to apply to fill the vacancies.

The company’s Managing Director Frank Rodriguez says: “Yorkshire is a hotbed of football and it seemed logical to give the area a chance to join in the fun. Leeds is an excellent base from which to launch ourselves in the region – this arena will be our northern hub.

”We are inviting any teams or individuals who are interested in playing there to pre-register with us so that they can get a taste of what believe is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. People interested in employment can also put in an early application for a job with us.”

The arena will run adult and youth Futsal tournaments every night of the week and in due course is expected to stage officially recognised international and FA Cup five a side matches. The Premier League and Football League, with whom Futsal collaborates successfully, are already in discussion about hosting a series of major events at the arena.

In addition to the regular league and cup competitions it will be possible to book a court for one-off events such as family parties.

Aspiring young footballers

The game attracts players at all levels, from groups of friends who just want a fun night out to aspiring young footballers such as those at Premier League or Football League Academies, who make use of the other Futsal arenas nationally.

Rodriguez is quick to point out the wider opportunities that will be offered in Leeds. “At all of our centres we offer educational programmes targeted at young people.

“These courses are a mixture of learning programmes and Futsal skills training.

“They lead to nationally recognised qualifications which can help a young person into further education or even make the first step into employment.

“We firmly believe that our new Leeds centre will become a great addition to the city’s social and educational facilities and be a credit to the region and we urge people to watch out for further exciting announcements regarding these education programmes.”

Recognised by FIFA and UEFA

Futsal is the only form of indoor five a side football officially recognised by FIFA and UEFA.

First played in Uruguay in 1930 it has been the breeding ground for stars of today such as Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo.

It is played indoors between two teams of five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper defending a goal similar in size to those used in hockey. Up to seven substitutes are allowed.

Electronic scoreboards flank the pitches and the playing surface is designed especially for Futsal, matching that used in FA competitions.

A fast-paced game it comprises two halves of twenty minutes each and is played with a smaller ball than in normal football matches, which bounces less.

For more information on the new centre at Leeds email Leeds@futsaluk.net or call 01138 267857.

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