Printer Friendly and PDF

Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017 just two days away,'s preview of the Continent's premier club futsal tournament continues. 





Shriker Osaka will be hoping for a strong start to their maiden AFC Futsal Club Championship. While little is known of the Osaka-based club on the continental front, Shriker Osaka have emerged as a formidable side in their native Japan, after displacing AFC Futsal Club Championship defending champions and Asia’s most successful futsal club, Nagoya Oceans to clinch their first-ever F.League title.

Shriker Osaka only have two players – goalkeeper Toru Fukimbara and two-time FIFA Futsal World Cup finals veteran Nobuya Osodo – who have appeared in recent national squads, but if they can emulate the formidable force of their Japanese predecessors, they should be able to write their own piece of history. Brazilian imports Arthur Barasuol De Oliveira and Tiago Selbach have also been recruited to bolster their bid for an impressive start.


Over the years, Islamic Republic of Iran has established itself as a dominant force, not only in the Continent but also in world futsal. As far as club competition goes, few can claim to have a better record than Sanaye Giti Pasand.

Despite appearing in only their third edition of the championship, Giti Pasand are the only Iranian team to have appeared in two successive finals, winning the coveted crown in 2012 before losing their title defence agonisingly on penalties to Chonburi Blue Wave in 2013.

Giti Pasand boast an impressive four players – Ahmad Esmaeilpour, Mohammad Keshavarz, Ali Hassanzadeh and Mehran Alighadr – from Iran’s historic third place finish at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016.

All eyes will be on Iranian legend Ahmad Esmaeilpour, who amazed spectators with his spectacular performances that won him the Bronze Ball award in Colombia. The 28-year-old has also won the continental club championship not once, but twice, clinching the top-scorer award with nine goals en route to Giti Pasand’s solitary triumph in 2012.

FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 Bronze Ball winner Ahmad Esmaeilpour will lead Sanaye Giti Pasand's challenge in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017.


Shenzhen Nanling will be out to make amends after missing the last edition of the AFC Futsal Club Championship.

Despite failing to qualify for the last edition in Thailand, Shenzhen Nanling remain the best Chinese side to participate in the competition. The Chengdu-based club finished in fourth place twice - first in Nagoya in 2013 and again as the host club for the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2014.

Shenzhen recaptured the Chinese Futsal League title from Dalian Yuan Dynasty last year and could produce an upset in a tough group, particularly if key imports Paulo Henrique Zanardo Mendonca Dos Santos and Iranian Peyman Hafizi can find their best form in Vietnam.

The East Asians have no shortage of home-grown talent either with the likes of He Yihui, Liang Shiming, Wei Zheng and Zeng Liang all featuring prominently in previous editions of the AFC Futsal Club Championship.

Photos: AFC &