South Africa will play host to the 2016 Africa Futsal Cup of Nations tournament from 15 – 24 April 2016.
The event is held under the auspices of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) for the men’s national teams.
Eight nations will descend upon this country to battle it out for the title, which will see the top three finishers representing Africa at the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia from 10 September to 1 October to make up the 24 countries at the World Cup. The 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be the 8th edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
The eight that will be playing in the African qualifiers are Angola (2nd appearance), Egypt (5th), Libya (3rd), Morocco (4th), Mozambique (3rd), South Africa (4th hosts), Tunisia (2nd) and Zambia (debut).
“Once again we are delighted as a country to be hosting this event. Because of our readiness and existing facilities CAF has seen it fit for us to once again to play host to one of their prestigious tournaments where the top three coming from this tournament will head to the World Cup in Colombia later this year – and we are confident South Africa will be among three,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“We are also hopeful that hosting this event will give more impetus on the sport growing in this country. We have, without doubt, some of the most skilled football players in the country who are better-suited for this type of football and if we put our energy on it we can become world beaters.”
For the 2016 Tournament, 12 teams were involved in playing qualifying matches that resulted in 6 of them qualifying for this championship. The seventh and eighth teams are the reigning champions (EGYPT) and the host country (SOUTH AFRICA) that qualified automatically.
The eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four each
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals
Semi-final winners and third-place winners qualify for 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup
The matches will be played at Ellis Park Arena and Wembley Stadiums in Johannesburg.
– The Africa Futsal Cup of Nations (known as the African Futsal Championship until 2015) is the main national futsal competition of the Confederation of African Football nations
– It was first held in 1996 and has been played every four years
– The 2016 Africa Futsal Cup of Nations will be the 5th edition of the Africa Futsal Cup of Nations, the quadrennial international futsal championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the men’s national teams of Africa
– Same as previous editions, the tournament acts as the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup (except for 2012 when a separate qualifying tournament was organized as the 2011 African Futsal Championship was cancelled)
– The top three teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia as the CAF representatives
– On 6 August 2015, the CAF Executive Committee decided to change the name of the tournament from the African Futsal Championship to the Africa Futsal Cup of Nations, similar to the football version, Africa Cup of Nations
– Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller field and mainly played indoors
– It can be considered a version of five-a-side football
– It originated in Uruguay in 1930
– In Brazil, futsal is played by more people than football but does not attract as many spectators as the outdoor sport
– Several futsal players have moved on to careers as successful professional football players
– Futsal is a game played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted
– Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines. Walls or boards are not used
– Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football due to the surface of the field. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces
– Egypt has won the tournament three times in a row – 1996, 2000, 2004 – and also hosted it those years. The other year it was won by Libya (2008) who were also hosting. The next edition was not hosted