Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear minifootball friends,
Today’s unprecedented popularity of football is illustrated by the following figures. There are more than 270 million registered football players competing in more than 300.000 teams. These figures do not include the millions and billions of players on the streets and backyards all over the planet. This is one of the aims of the European Minifootball Federation.
One of the most important grassroot sport in Europe is represented by minifootball. Minifootball means small sided football open only for amateur players over 18 years old at this moment.
Our competitions focus on player development, teambuilding, fair-play and inter-relation of thousands of players who take part at this moment at a European level – more than 600.000 players in 24 member countries. All these people meet and play at least once a week. Recent years have seen a significant growth in the numbers of people playing minifootball.
This level of participation transform minifootball into one of the largest sports in Europe. Minifootball is generally used to describe any game played by less than eleven players. However, there are a number of formats that have gained greater recognition and formality than others: 5v5, 6v6 or 7v7.
The history of minifootball started around 1960 in various western and eastern European countries. Minifootball has been part of our football history in Europe for generations. Many of us or our grandparents played this wonderful game in the streets. Now the streets are too busy, with a lot of cars and it is too dangerous to play.
The popularity of this format of football is a reaction to changing work and leisure patterns and a move towards ‘pay to play’ football. Wherever you are around the country, the chances are that there is an opportunity to play minifootball at your doorstep. This could come in all shapes and sizes from a large custom-built minifootball facility with multiple pitches or even an 11-a-side pitch temporarily split into smaller pitches. When recreational football is played in parks or in the streets it is usually played as minifootball Minifootball games and not often played as 11 versus 11.
In minifootball the spectator becomes the main actor, the main protagonist of the GAME. The real value is that the minifootball games give the game back to the players. Every player, even the stars, were once minifootball players. It is the correspondent of the street football that produced in the past a lot of football players. But one the most important dimensions of minifootball in Europe is the reintegration of professional football players into the labour market at the end of their sporting careers. This is the reason why the structure of European minifootball is based on former football players or referees. Now they have the possibility to continue their career and also to offer a direct role model to thousands of amateur players.
In order to ensure an adequate answer to the present and future challenges, EMF will be an active player in Europe and in the world. It must involve a large number of countries and partners and sponsors.The geographical scope of our activities is to cover all of Europe and at the same time to share at the European level and also outside Europe our values, ideas and principles to facilitate the economical and social progress of our society.
I suppose that every one of you knows what the sport sector means . EMF is more than a sport federation, it is a project without borders, without any limits, it is a project about all of you. It depends on us, so far we can fly!
For us minifootball is more than a game, more than a competition, minifootball is a way to live, it is a state of mind.
Today, this state of mind is called European Minifootball Federation.