Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Nagoya: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Chonburi Bluewave after the Thais pulled a stunning 4-1 penalty shootout win over the 2012 champions Sanaye Giti Pasand of Iran to lift the title of the AFC Futsal Club Championship 2013 on Sunday.
Shaikh Salman urged clubs and countries across the continent to emulate the rise of futsal in Thailand after their series of successes in the continental arena in the recent past.
“I could not make it into the Ocean Arena in Nagoya due to my other commitments but the tournament was one of the best we have organised in Asia,” he said.
“Yet again Thailand punched above their weight in Asian futsal. This shows the tremendous efforts put on by Thailand futsal fraternity to develop the game,” the AFC President said.
“I would like to congratulate Chonburi Bluewave and Thai futsal for once again challenging the dominance of Iran who are not only the Asian leaders in futsal but they are one of the powerhouses of world futsal.
“Thailand defeated Iran in the epic semi-final of the Asian Futsal Championship in Dubai last year, then they successfully organised FIFA Futsal World Cup in Asian soil and managed to enter into the knockout stages and now their club Chonburi Bluewave became the first Thai club to lift this coveted trophy.
“The clubs from Iran and Japan have been a dominant force in Asian futsal over the years but the emergence of clubs from Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Lebanon and Vietnam has proved that the gap has been decreasing gradually.
“All the clubs who made into the finals in Nagoya deserve applause as the tournament has been played with the true spirit of sportsmanship,” he added.
Shaikh Salman also thanked Japan Football Association (JFA) and its President Kuniya Daini for hosting the premier futsal club competition successfully in Nagoya.
“The traditional reputation of Japan being AFC’s best hosts was once again proved from this tournament. All the credit goes to the Local Organising Committee for their efforts in making this a huge success,” he added.