1. When was EMF founded and by whom?
The EMF was not created from one moment to another. The EMF was founded officially in March 2012 in Prague. However, the people who envisioned EMF and its potential started working on the project back in 2009. This is something natural, as the EMF project involves large numbers of human resources and, to a large extent, relies on the effective cooperation of the leading personalities in the area of minifootball from various member states. The EMF consolidates the efforts of all people who have helped develop minifootball in their home countries and offers common ground to unite their forces, their expertise and manpower they manage in each country. Founding members states of the EMF are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Gr.Britain, Greece, Israel, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.
2. Why is minifootball the most popular sport in the world?
Minifootball is a sport which was born in the European continent in the middle of the previous century. Very quickly it spread and became popular around the world as 1. It is the most appropriate type of football for all amateur players who love football, 2. It is the ideal sport for children to become familiar with the features of football but also to develop their technique and tactical skills and 3. The infrastructure of minifootball does not require large spaces, which makes it the No 1 choice in large urban centers, where this type of spatial problems are common. Furthermore, in terms of infrastructure, minifootball fields are -in absolute numbers- by far the most numerous in comparison to any other sport across the globe. This impressive growth and development of minifootball led to the establishment through private initiative of thousands of smaller or larger tournaments, which take place in each country from a very localized to a national level. Only in recent years did many countries establish official national minifootball associations to help them further organize and develop this idea.
3. Which is the difference between minifootball and futsal?
Minifootball is the type of football, the most widespread, which millions of amateur players in the world play and the only element that differs among cities and countries is the total number of players and the size of the field; minifootball is the grassroots sport, the football that everybody loves & plays in mini fields. Minifootball is defined as a new sport, which differentiates itself from regular football (11×11) and the sport which is commonly known as futsal. It is played by non professional players on special small sized football courts. From country to country and even from city to city, the exact dimensions and surface material of the minifootball court as well as the exact number of players may vary.
Minifootball is mostly played on artificial or natural grass surfaces or on special synthetic court surfaces resembling grass. EMF establishes four official categories of Minifootball, depending on the number of players in the minifootball court:
- 5-a-side football
- 6-a-side football
- 7-a-side football
- 8-a-side football
Each above mentioned category is played on surfaces of specific official dimensions and with goals of specific official dimensions too.
On the other hand, futsal is a completely different sport, which is not so popular neither very known in all countries of Europe. Futsal is played indoors on a hard court surface, it is always played between two teams of five players. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce in contrast with minifootball which is played with size no.5 normal football.
4. Which is the interpretation / philosophy of the EMF logo?
The EMF logo refers to 4 interconnected concepts. Basically, it is designed to give answers to the following 4 questions:
1.What ? > Football
The most significant element, around which the sport EMF represents evolves i.e. a football could not be absent from the Federation’s logo. Football is considered internationally the king of sports and therefore, the ball is its emblem.
2.Where ? > Stadium
This reference is made through the use of the pentagons which bring to mind a vector of a football stadium, as viewed from above. Of course, minifootball as we know it is currently played mainly in small size sports facilities and not in football fields with large stands for spectators. This particular reference though, makes a notion for future perspectives i.e. constructing state of the art football fields, specially designed for hosting minifootball events, as the sport becomes gradually more acknowledged. In addition, in the mind of every person a stadium is synonymous to all kinds of football.
3.How > Tortoise shell
The tortoise is an animal with a strong self defense mechanism. Its shell serves as a shield from exterior threats. In the same fashion, EMF offers its member states and member national associations a “roof”, an auspices which protects their product and the sport of minifootball in general. It is also a symbol of unity, stability and cooperation among member states.
4.When > Flower
The reference to a flower stands for a number of positive concepts. Growth through evolution, enthusiasm, decentralized and multicultural approach and also the beauty of the sport itself.
5. Which countries have the option to become members of the EMF?
EMF embraces the whole of Europe. The founding members and the countries which obtained membership status after the founding of the EMF are the national associations of the countries that currently are presented in the website. This number keeps rising continuously. All countries that are located in the European continent and all countries which are considered European by the sports federations worldwide even if they are located in other parts of the world (Asia & Middle east) have the option to become members of the EMF.
6. Can one National Association represent more than one countries?
No, it cannot represent more than one countries, with the exception of those countries which are historically or politically strongly related (eg. countries of Great Britain, Greece & Cyprus etc). The final decision for the implementation of this exception is made by the General Assembly of the EMF.
7. How many players play in the EMF championships? How many fields are official EMF minifootball facilities in Europe? How many European cities does the EMF include?
All numbers keep increasing month by month! In January 2013, 600.000 players play in the EMF championships. There are more than 900 official EMF minifootball facilities in Europe. More than 450 European cities are included in the EMF.
8. Which is the administration model of the EMF and which is the connection with the administration model of the national Associations?
The management/admistration of the EMF is exerted by the Executive Committee which consists of 7 people. The first elections took place on March 25, 2012. The Executive Committee reports to the General Assembly of members which can grow continuously without constraints with the addition of new member states.
The members of the EMF are the National Minifootball Associations. The Presidents of the National Associations constitute the General Assembly of the EMF.
The Committees that exist are the following:
History and Statistics Committee
HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment) Committee
Information Technology Committee
Media and Public Relations Committee
Strategic Development Committee
All the national championships fall directly within the EMF jurisdiction and EMF has the full management and authority to implement its decisions to the member states. There are vertical management structures from the President of the EMF to the local league secretariats, which constitute a network on many levels: European, regional, national, local (cities), local (sports facilities in every city).
9. How can a country become member of the EMF?
A country can become member of the EMF only if a National Minifootball Association of this country applies for membership. This National Minifootball Association has to be the strongest minifootball organizing entity in the country and has to cover some criteria concerning the national structures, the organizing standards, the legal form (type) of the entity etc. If all these criteria are covered, this National Minifootball Association has to apply for membership and the General Assembly makes the final decision.
10. Which are the championships that take place under the auspices of the EMF or are officially organized by the EMF?
I. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
All national championships of the member countries belong to the EMF. The number of the participating teams in the EMF’s national championships at this moment surpasses 50.000 (in total over 500.000 participants on average).
Each national championship includes local championships in various cities or counties of a country. The local winners (regional winners) participate in the national finals of their country which take place during the end of the season and they compete for the title of the National Champion.
The season starts in different period of time in each country and ends about 9 months later. Usually, in southern european countries the season starts in October or November and ends in May or June and in nothern european countries the season starts in March or April and finishes in November or December.
II. EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The culmination of the EMF’s efforts is the miniEuro, which takes place annually during the autumn period in a different city of a European EMF member state. During this final phase, each national champion of the member states compete for the title of the European Champion.
The previous miniEuro (miniEURO 2012, Moldova) took place in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova in the city’s central square in front of the Opera Hall, on an impressive mobile, high – tech minifootball field, set up especially for the event. The atmosphere the miniEuro created for the hosting city was truly unique. Thousands of spectators, a city filled with colors, flags and songs and of course all this supported by state-of-the-art organizational standards.
The event attracted the attention of the national and European media, which on a regular basis reported on the event, with photo & video coverage, team and player interviews etc.
The miniEuro, attended by a large number of athletes, on-site spectators and all other “participants” touched by the event (eg through media coverage) encompasses all 3 of the following concepts: Emotion, Passion, Effort.
Apart from miniEURO, there are and there might be more European cups which take place under the auspices of the EMF which mostly have regional character (eg. trophy for Balkans) or more targeted character (eg. students cup or touristic minifootball cup with the participation of a few countries) and of course all European friendly matches between member states of the EMF.