Football Victoria announce new Futsal referees course

Football Victoria has announced a new Level 3 course for Futsal referees, with the intention of strengthening refereeing for the small sided game.

The course will certify anyone 13 years or older to referee Football Victoria sanctioned Futsal matches, and will be hosted by FIFA/AFC Futsal Referees Instructor Adrian Tamplin.

Held virtually in two parts, the course will conclude with an exam and practical session. The date of this third part is yet to be announced.

The course aims to get as many referees qualified as possible, as the COVID pandemic has reduced the number of referees available for all sports. Football Victoria is seeking to further engage women referees through their development of Futsal-specific courses.

Anthony Grima, head of Futsal and Commercial at Football Victoria, said there has been a strong response to the announced course.

“Because of the situation we are in with COVID, we have given participants the flexibility of hosting this course virtually, and we have had an overwhelming response from all around Victoria,” he said.

“It’s essential that we have referees qualified to ensure the best possible football experiences for the players as well.”

Grima adds that the opportunity for a Victorian to represent their state at national and international tournaments is a possibility.

“There are opportunities out there for advancement, which are pathways for referees to represent their state at the national futsal championships,” he said.

“There are 5 FIFA futsal accredited referees in Australia, and they are all from NSW. I’d like for the next Futsal FIFA referee to be from Victoria.”

The course will cost $150, with registration closing at 5pm Friday 16th July. It will be held on the following dates:
Part 1: Virtual – Tuesday 20th July 2021, 7pm – 10pm
Part 2: Virtual – Tuesday 3rd August 2021, 7pm – 10pm
Part 3: Exam & Practical Session – Date TBA

Follow this link to find more information about the course or register your interest.

AFC reveals logo for the 2023 Asian Cup tournament

Asian Cup

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), together with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), have confirmed the logo for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

The logo was revealed via a dazzling and immersive display that showcased the vibrant new design through projection mapping and Augmented Reality, as well as being projected on select iconic buildings across Shanghai’s skyline.

The launch, which was staged at the competition’s first completed stadium – Shanghai Pudong Football Stadium – also revealed the Host City logos in the first on-ground milestone event of the tournament, which will be held from June 16 to July 16, 2023.

The 18th edition of the tournament will see the Socceroos hoping to improve on their quarter-final loss to the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

In a special video message presented during the event, the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa made the following statement:

“Over the years, each host nation has left a significant mark on Asian football, and we know that China PR will stage our greatest ever tournament in 2023.

“The AFC is pleased to mark our latest milestones and, on behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate the Local Organising Committee and the Venue Organising Committees of the 10 host cities for their commitment and efforts.

“The LOC continues to make great progress with the preparations to stage a memorable event, and I wish the Chinese Football Association, the LOC, the VOCs and all our stakeholders the very best of success in staging a truly world-class event.”

The 10 dynamic beams in the logo, which emanate from the bottom to form the image of the sun rising from the East, symbolise all the host cities of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ – underlining the ever-growing scale and future legacy of the tournament, which will be held in 10 different cities in one nation for the first time in Asian football history.

The process of localising the design and concept, in line with the master brands, was further influenced by the LOC’s proposal to embody ‘Light’ as a symbol and beacon of hope to overcome adversity, particularly pertinent during these challenging times and aptly emphasising the unifying force of Asia’s flagship men’s tournament in rallying together passionate fans and teams from the world’s most diverse continent.

Andre Caro: Meet ‘The Doctor’ of Futsal in Australia

Andre Caro, or ‘The Doctor’ as he’s known across his social media channels, has accumulated over a hundred thousand followers on Facebook and Instagram – a popularity that is matched by his passion for futsal.

Growing up in Brazil, the 31-year-old fell in love with the small-sided version of the game – beginning to play the sport when he was just five years old.

After years of playing at a good level in Brazil, for renowned futsal clubs such as Pulo Futsal Campinas, he moved to Melbourne at the age of 20 to initially study English for six months.

“The week I arrived in Australia I got my first job at Futsal Oz and that was my only job for the next 10 years,” Caro told Soccerscene.

“I was a junior coach, I ran futsal competitions, I still played in a top team and I helped organise major tournaments like the junior Futsal Oz nationals, which had over 140 teams in it.”

Alongside this role, Caro continued to build up his social media profile to help promote and spread awareness of the sport of futsal in Australia. Across his channels, he regularly posts skills videos, coaching drills and a wide range of other content including podcasts with key futsal figures.

“The whole idea of growing my social media was that futsal was not talked about in Australia for a long time,” he said.

“When I came here 11 years ago, no one knew about futsal. The only way to get the word across was through growing my social media.”

His strong knowledge of the game would also catch on substantially with an international audience, which led to a recent opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I got an opportunity through my social media content last year. The senior head coach at Al Nasr Futsal Club in UAE, Rafael Fogageiro, asked me to become his assistant coach and also to become the head coach of the U20’s for a season.”

Overall, it would be a successful experience for Caro.

Al Nasr would end up finishing second in the UAE Futsal League, with the club winning the Etihad and Presidents Cup in the same season. The U20 team also finished second in the UAE League and won the Presidents Cup.

The 31-year-old explained that he learnt a lot in his time in Dubai, enjoying the challenge.

“It was just about working for a professional club again,” he said.

“Everything that comes with working in that professional environment, the pressure to perform and win. If you lose a couple of games, you could lose your job. We were lucky we had a very successful season and won a lot of trophies.”

Caro winning silverware in UAE.

Eager to return to Australia after the overseas coaching stint, he decided to begin his own futsal academy ‘Caro Futsal’ and get back to coaching kids, which is his main passion.

“Basically, I wanted to go back and start coaching kids and give back to the community,” he said.

“So, I got back in June this year and started my own academy. It’s been a good start even though we’re during covid – it’s just growing every day.”

Coaching thousands of players throughout his time in Australia, Caro finds joy in watching these individuals grow, but claims more must be done by administrators for the sport to flourish.

“We currently don’t have a national futsal team, FA cut the funds in 2019,” he said.

“There is currently no official national futsal league in Australia.

“The number of people playing futsal is always increasing, but the main issue is there is no real pathway to the national team or to an official national league.”

When it comes to a national league in Australia, Caro believes a conference type model should be an initial starting point before progressing further in the future.

“I think because Australia is a big country it will be hard to have a national league,” he said.

“We should be concentrating on starting a conference type league, where we have a strong state league in each state and the winners get together once a year or a period of four weeks for example.

“Because it will be hard overall as there’s not enough money for teams to travel around.

“I believe a conference system in Australia will be the best way to start and later on we could be looking at a fully national league.”

For now, however, ‘The Doctor’ is just looking forward to getting back onto the futsal court as Melbourne emerges from its sixth lockdown today.

“I can’t wait to get back out there and play,” he said.

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