Coast backs futsal Olympic campaign

THE Sunshine Coast Football Association (SCFA) is now an official ambassador of the international bid to include futsal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Futsal in Rio 2016 campaign is backed by countries all over Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the Caribbean in an effort to make futsal an Olympic sport.

Sunshine Coast Futsal regional development officer Trevor Edwards said the Sunshine Coast had not been involved in previous attempts because the priority had been building a strong local player base.

Now that the SCFA has more than 1500 registered players, Edwards is passionate about backing the international futsal bid.

"We see this as a good opportunity to get involved in it, to help promote it, and if it becomes an Olympic sport, that's only going to benefit the local base of futsal here on the Coast," he said.

The International Olympic Committee has rejected previous campaigns to make futsal an Olympic sport, including the London 2012 bid, because of the absence of a women's futsal world cup.

This problem was rectified in 2010 with the inaugural Women's Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

Edwards said establishing futsal as an Olympic sport would create an opportunity for an Australian women's team.

"At the moment, we only have a Futsalroos team - the Australian men's team. No women's," Edwards said.

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