Month: May 2024

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2024 Draw

Draw throws up engrossing groupsShare

The six groups for Uzbekistan 2024 were set at the official draw in Samarkand’s resplendent Registan Square.

Group A: Uzbekistan, Netherlands, Paraguay, Costa Rica
Group B: Brazil, Cuba, Croatia, Thailand
Group C: Argentina, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Angola
Group D: Spain, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Libya
Group E: Portugal, Panama, Tajikistan, Morocco
Group F: Iran, Venezuela, Guatemala, France

Hosts Uzbekistan, Netherlands, Paraguay, and Costa Rica will compete in one of the widest-open groups in FIFA Futsal World Cup™ history, while three reigning continental champions – Portugal, Panama and Morocco – will join Tajikistan in the first round. Title contenders Spain and Kazakhstan will collide in Group D. They have first-timers New Zealand and Libya for company. Record five-time champions Brazil went into a pool with Cuba, Croatia, and fast-emerging Thailand. Afghanistan, who will appear in a FIFA competition for the first time since 1948, will face 2016 champions Argentina, Ukraine, and Angola. Samarkand’s resplendent Registan Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the ancient Silk Road, provided one of the most spectacular settings ever for the draw of a FIFA tournament. It was conducted by FIFA Director of Tournaments Jaime Yarza, with Uzbek football legend Server Djeparov, former Manchester United and France striker Louis Saha and Kike, who inspired Spain to back-to-back FIFA Futsal World Cup crowns, providing assistance.

Brazil and Spain conquered the first seven editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup between them, five and two times apiece. Thereafter, Argentina and Portugal have etched their names on the trophy. Several emerging powers are threatening to do the same at this year’s finals, which begin on 14 September. Afghanistan, France, New Zealand, and Tajikistan will be making their tournament debuts, while Croatia and the Netherlands return for the first time in almost a quarter-century.

FIFA Futsal Men’s World Ranking

1st – Brazil 2nd – Portugal 3rd – Spain 4th – IR Iran 5th – Argentina 6th – Morocco 8th – Kazakhstan 9th – Thailand 10th – France 11th – Uzbekistan 12th – Ukraine 13th – Paraguay 16th – Croatia 19th – New Zealand 21st – Venezuela 30th – Afghanistan 31st – Costa Rica 34th – Tajikistan 36th – Netherlands 40th – Guatemala 44th – Panama 47th – Angola 50th – Libya 78th – Cuba

Pierre Carlo: The Polish Goalkeeper Who Found a Home in Iran

Among the names of Iran’s Team Melli players, one stands out for fans: Pierre Carlo, also known as Carlos. His story is a fascinating blend of football, migration, and national identity.

A Journey from Poland to Iran

Pierre Carlo was a Polish immigrant who arrived in Iran during World War II. The tumultuous events of that era forced him to seek refuge far from his native Poland. German forces invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, leading to the defeat of the Polish Army. As a result, millions of Poles found themselves under Soviet authority due to territorial changes dictated by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

In 1941, during the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, the Soviets agreed to evacuate part of the Polish formation to Iran. Among these non-military refugees was Pierre Carlo, who crossed the Caspian Sea to find safety in Iran.

Settling in Iran

Despite the challenges, Iranians welcomed Polish refugees openly. The Iranian government facilitated their entry and provided provisions. Polish schools, cultural organizations, and businesses were established to create a sense of home for the displaced Poles. Carlo settled in the port city of Pahlevi (now Anzali), which became a major landing point for Polish refugees arriving from the Soviet Union.

From Refuge to Football Stardom

Carlo’s journey took an unexpected turn when he found his way to the famous Tehran club “Docharkhe Savaran” (later known as Taj, currently Esteghlal). On April 6, 1945, he signed an agreement to play for the club, initially as a temporary arrangement. However, Carlo’s brilliance as a goalkeeper soon made him a key player for Taj.

His impact extended beyond club football. In 1947, Carlo changed his nationality and played for Iran’s national team. He became the first foreign player with two distinct stints in Iranian football. His goalkeeping skills earned him honors, including winning the Tehran Club Cup in 1947, 1949, and 1956, as well as the Tehran National Cup in 1351.

Team Melli Appearances

Carlo made two appearances for Iran’s Team Melli, both against Turkey in October 1947. Turkey, a formidable European team, defeated Iran 3-1 in the first match, while the second ended in a 1-1 draw. Unfortunately, the match was abandoned due to excessive rough play and violence by both teams’ players.

Legacy and Final Resting Place

Hossein Sedghiani, a talent scout credited with discovering great players, and Ali Danaei Fard, the first head coach of the former cyclists’ club, had unwavering faith in Carlo’s goalkeeping abilities. After retiring from football and even pursuing an acting career, Pierre Carlo remained in Iran. He passed away in the country and was buried there, alongside many other Polish immigrants. The same land that once offered him refuge became his final resting place.

Pierre Carlo’s story serves as a testament to the power of football to transcend borders and create lasting connections. His legacy lives on as a unique chapter in the rich tapestry of Iranian football history.

FIFA First ever Futsal Ranking

  • Futsal nations around the world ranked globally for the first time
  • Brazil tops both men’s and women’s charts; Portugal and Spain complete top three
  • Rankings will be key reference point for world futsal

FIFA has launched the official FIFA Futsal World Ranking, with powerhouses Brazil the first number-one nation on both the men’s and women’s chart as the rapidly growing sport takes another major step forward.

Iran’s Futsal Team Melli, recently crowned as AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2024 is ranked 4 in the list which will be regularly published, but unlike the FIFA Football Ranking, this will not be monthly!

Although the FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking for football has existed since December 1992, and women’s senior national teams have been officially ranked by FIFA since 2003, that has not previously been the case for futsal. However, the indoor game has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years and this milestone moment represents the natural next step, as well as being the first time that FIFA men’s and women’s rankings have been launched concurrently.

Broadcasts of the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ in Lithuania in 2021 attracted an average of 2.42 million viewers per match, a massive 130 percent increase from the previous edition in 2016. The FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™, which will be the first FIFA tournament staged in Central Asia, is likely to improve even on those impressive numbers, and a historic first FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup™ will be held in 2025. Against this backdrop, FIFA has rolled out global rankings for its member associations’ women’s and men’s senior futsal national teams in recognition of the dynamic development of and global interest in the sport.

The initial rankings have been based on statistics gathered from over 4,600 FIFA ‘A’ matches. FIFA defines an international ‘A’ match as a match between two FIFA members for which both members field their first representative team (‘A’ team).

The new ranking system will also serve to seed teams for all upcoming editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup – including during the recently announced draw for the 2024 competition in Uzbekistan. The system will likewise be used for qualification processes and enable comprehensive and consistent data to be gathered to monitor member associations in accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches. That will support the prevention of practices that jeopardize the integrity of the sport, such as match manipulation.

In the nine editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup to date, the inaugural top-ranked men’s side, Brazil, have been crowned champions five times and only failed to finish on the podium once. They are closely followed on the chart by Portugal, who arrive at this year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup as the holders and have won the last two European crowns. Spain, the two-time world (2000 and 2004) and seven-time European champions, are third in the standings.

Brazil’s women’s national team have been just as dominant as their male counterparts, having won all seven of the South American championships that they have contested. Spain and Portugal are again behind them on the women’s ranking, albeit in reverse order: three-time European champions Spain are second, with Portugal – who have finished runners-up to their Iberian rivals in two continental finals – in third.

Fans interested in attending the FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™ can register to receive ticketing updates here.

Sardar Azmoun’s Future: Roma and Bayer Leverkusen Clash

Sardar Azmoun, Team Melli striker, made a significant move at the beginning of the season by leaving Bayer Leverkusen on a one-season loan contract to continue his football journey in Italy’s Serie A.

Roma secured a one-season contract with Sardar Azmoun, but the situation is far from settled. The Iranian player’s fate hinges on whether the permanent purchase clause will be activated by Roma. If not, he will return to Bayer Leverkusen. Recent meetings between the clubs’ managers have shed light on the financial aspects of this transfer. However, due to Bayer Leverkusen’s high asking price (12.5 million euros) for Azmoun’s departure, Roma’s leadership hesitates to commit to a permanent deal. According to the Italian website “ilromanista,” Sardar Azmoun is likely to part ways with Roma at the end of the season.

Europa League Showdown

The drama continues on the field as Roma and Bayer Leverkusen prepare for the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals. The match is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 9th, at the Bay Arena. In the first leg, held at the “Olympic” Stadium, Bayer Leverkusen secured a convincing 2-0 victory over their hosts.

Roma’s Challenges and Ambitions

Despite the setback in the first leg, Roma remains determined. Manager Daniele Del Rossi’s focus is unwavering as the team aims to overturn the result in Germany. Remy, one of Roma’s key players, regrets missed opportunities from the previous match against Bayer Leverkusen.

As the season unfolds, Roma faces uncertainties regarding their European Champions League qualification. Their performance in Serie A will ultimately determine their fate. Will they secure a spot in the prestigious tournament, or will they face disappointment? Only time will reveal the answer.

As far as Azmoun is concerned, it seems much better for him to return to Germany as a title holder of the Bundesliga while assured of playing in the UEFA Champions League. While his sterling performances at Zenit St. Petersburg and prolific scoring were not repeated with Leverkusen, he was still considered a main player until his long-term layoff due to injury losing his starting place and eventual loan to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.