If you are interested in showcasing those dribbling and ball control skills you’d been practicing for hours at home as a kid, without having to run the entire length of a football pitch, futsal is the sport for you! Okay, so there’s a lot more to it than not having to run longer distances. It’s a five-a-side game of indoor football, played on a smaller pitch and with a smaller ball than the one used for football. It is also a brilliant way to get in an hour or two of cardio and is extremely fun even for an amateur player.
On a global scale football might have a greater following than futsal, but in Brazil it’s actually played more than football! That says a lot about this sport that is fast spreading across the world, from South America to Africa and since of late, Asia. Iran, Japan and Thailand are amongst the futsal royalty in our part of the continent and while a host of other nations play this game, Sri Lanka too, has been seeing a growing interest in the game.
Our local futsal community too, has come quite some distance since the days of playing futsal at ‘Excel World.’ The Colombo Futsal Club (CFC) is one such organization that is playing a role in promoting the sport in Sri Lanka. The Roar.lk team had the opportunity to go play a game of futsal at the CFC and have a chat with its owner, Mr Rinaz Nizar. Here is what we found out:
What is CFC?
For those of you who do not know, Colombo Futsal Club is the first sports facility in Sri Lanka which has a dedicated indoor futsal court built to international standards. Set up in February 2014, it is a venture partnership between JATCO, a Dubai based company (owned by a Sri Lankan, in case you were wondering) and a local businessman, soccer enthusiast and Royal College alumni, Rinaz Nizar.
Inception of CFC
As a Masters student, Rinaz was required to come up with a business proposal for his final year entrepreneurship project. According to him, it came down to a futsal pitch or an indoor paintball arena. Due to his love for the sport and a gut feeling, he chose the futsal club. And according to him, “We have actually completed our construction and started off the club and yet my final year project has not even started.” What a guy!
CFC is located along the A2 in Dehiwala (A2 is Galle Road by the way. If you didn’t know that, I hope you aren’t Sri Lankan) before the fly over, coming from Colombo, and is very difficult to miss.
CFC has one futsal court built to international standards with advanced artificial turf, commonly known as “Tiger Turf” in Europe. It is soft but strong, has great traction and personally, I wouldn’t mind sleeping on it.
According to Rinaz, they use is 10,000W High Bay Lights which eliminate shadows and give players a daylight-like experience. We found the lighting to be pretty damn good and if your team is losing, don’t even bother blaming the bad light because that will just not be an option.
Bookings and Rates
You can make a booking by hitting them up on 0775646624 or 077278686 or you can book via their functioning (something which is actually important to note for Lankan web systems) and easy to use Online Booking System
For me,I felt that these rates were on the high side, especially if you are interested in playing regularly. But if it’s 10 or more people, then it works out to Rs.500 per person or less, which is still a bit costly but not as bad.
CFC has Parking for 8 cars and if a requirement arises for more parking there is always a bit of space on Galle road and the adjoining by lanes. These guys also have new and clean changing rooms, toilets and showers as well as locker facilities in case you want to keep your belongings safe while playing (although I don’t see the need for a locker as the place seems pretty safe).
When discussing future plans, Rinaz was a little bit secretive but it seems like some interesting developments are underway. Here is what he had to say: “Within the next 2 months we will be launching some really interesting games which would be a first in Sri Lanka. However at this point we will not be able to disclose any more details with regard to them.” CFC will also be hosting several tournaments and leagues in the upcoming months, but the dates are yet to be finalized. There’s also some good news for all you soap football enthusiasts, as Rinaz mentioned that the soap football pitch which was temporarily removed is coming back by the end of this month.
When asked about the futsal scene in Sri Lanka, Rinaz had this to say, “It’s growing worldwide and has caught on in Sri Lanka as well. We have started this club as a means of taking futsal forward and bringing futsal enthusiasts in the island together. So far, I am happy with the response and the enthusiasm CFC is receiving from the local futsal playing community.”
Go ahead grab your boots, call your buddies and jump on the Sri Lankan futsal band wagon with CFC, because it’s definitely worth the experience and the work out!