The Football Association [The FA] has today announced the launch of England Futsal – a new partnership for the future management of Futsal operations in England.

England Futsal is a new independent venture, which will partner with The FA over an initial five-year period, with the aim of providing long-term stability and growth for Futsal in this country.

The new venture will be led by the highly experienced sports administrator Stephen Mitchell and see England Futsal become our official delivery partner for the format.

England Futsal will deliver the grassroots development of Futsal, including coach education, referee development and mentoring, regional youth leagues and the talent inclusion programme, to support Futsal participation for boys and girls.

The FA and its Futsal Committee will maintain overall responsibility for the governance of Futsal in England including sanctioning, discipline, and Futsal regulations.

The FA has also agreed for England Futsal to set up and manage the Under 19 Men’s and Women’s national teams based on a two-season trial period. The first international tournament under the new England Futsal partnership will see the Men’s Under 19 England Futsal team participate in qualifying matches in January ahead of the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship in Croatia in September 2023.

Louise Gear, The FA’s Head of Football Development, said: “We are delighted to launch this new partnership with England Futsal, and we look forward to working together to build a bright and sustainable future for this format of the game. The passion for Futsal is clear to see and we have been working hard over the past 18 months to introduce a new partnership that we hope will see Futsal thrive for years to come. This includes supporting England Under 19 teams, as well as working on the release of specific rules and regulations for Futsal this season, which will help provide a foundation for the game to go from strength to strength.”

Stephen Mitchell, Director of England Futsal, said: “This new partnership is excellent news for Futsal in England and we are excited to be involved in the future delivery of the game. Our ambitions during the first quarter of 2023 centre on a shared ambition with FA colleagues to carry out a comprehensive, authentic and transparent listening exercise with and through the futsal community. We will then be co-producing how England Futsal best operates to ensure we deliver the best support and resources led by decision making which has the most relevance to those playing, coaching, refereeing and administering the game. Our ambitions are to create the long-term stability and growth for Futsal in this country in partnership with The FA so it can flourish in the future. Building an organisation which is well governed, fit for the future, community-centred and works effectively across Futsal, football and the broader sport and physical activity is hugely important to all of those involved in today’s announcement.”

Graeme Dell, chair of The FA Futsal Committee said: “The FA Futsal Committee welcomes the establishment of England Futsal as the official delivery partner for the format. This new partnership places the future of Futsal in England on a firm footing that provides stability and will ultimately benefit players and participants up and down the country, with solid structures in place to ensure many more people can enjoy the game in years to come.”

The operation and delivery of the Futsal Competition Pathway is unaffected by this new partnership, and close working relationships between England Futsal, the National Futsal Series, National Futsal League and other key education partner competitions will be developed.

The FA has also reviewed the governance of Futsal and, following an open recruitment process in October 2022, it has appointed two new independent members – Luis Melville and Simon Walker – to its Futsal Committee, to ensure greater diversity of skills and knowledge of this version of the national game. In addition, Stephen Mitchell has also been invited to The FA Futsal Committee as the responsible officer at England Futsal and Independent Chair, further strengthening the Board whilst being accountable for FA investment.