Barca vs Kairat Almaty in semi-final of UEFA Futsal Champions League 2018-19, Source: UEFA

Lithuania hosts 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup

Lithuania hosts 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup

The first-ever FIFA tournament to take place in the Baltic country will kick off on 12 September in Kaunas Arena

With last-minute preparations and calls to volunteers, Kaunas, Vilnius and Klaipėda are gearing up for their role as host cities of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021. The tournament - the first-ever FIFA competition to be hosted in Lithuania - was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At long last, the tournament’s 9th edition will kick off on 12 September and the new champions will be crowned on 3 October. Kaunas Arena, Vilnius Arena and Klaipėda Arena are the chosen venues.

What is Futsal?

Similar to five-a-side football, Futsal is an association football game played mainly indoors on a hard court that is smaller than a football pitch. A match confronts two teams of five players each, including the goalkeeper. The first edition of FIFA Futsal World Cup was held in 1989.

In addition to hosts Lithuania, who will debut in the tournament as players as well, 23 other teams have qualified from six separate continental competitions. The 24 teams have been divided up into six groups of four teams.

Lithuania is in Group A, facing Venezuela in the tournament opener on 12 September in the Kaunas Arena. Defending champions Argentina are in Group F, with their first match pitting them against USA in Vilnius. Five-time winners Brazil (last trophy in 2012) are in Group D and face Vietnam in their opening game in Klaipeda.

The “FIFA Futsal WC 2021 Challenge” app, downloadable from Google Play and Apple App Store, will enable fans and gamers to not miss a minute of the tournament on their mobile devices.

Tournament rule changes

The competing nations have been allowed to nominate 16 players per delegation instead of 14. This Covid-19 countermeasure will bring additional flexibility for each squad. Also, video support will be used for the first time in a Futsal World Cup tournament.

In line with recently approved amendments aligning the Laws of the Game for Futsal and Football, five penalty kicks will be performed in the shoot-out, instead of the current three.

Emblem and mascot

The emblem of the tournament is inspired by Lithuania’s natural treasures and technical achievements. It features leaves of the oak tree - Lithuanian mythology staple and symbol of strength, fields and meadows in the colours of the country’s flag and futsal pitch and ball borne by lasers.

Ivartito the Stork mascot, name coming from the Lithuanian word for goal ("ivartis"), is a clear reference to the excitement and the many goals that characterise futsal. The stork has been the national bird of Lithuania since 1973. Traditionally seen as bearer of good fortune, babies and peace, the stork epitomises the ecological variety and natural beauty of the Baltic country.

Tickets and precautionary measures

Tickets are on general sale from 20 August until the day of the final, subject to availability. Every futsal fan can now skip the tickets queue by visiting

Due to the situation around the more transmissible Delta variant, special rules will apply. Spectators will be required to present proof of recovery, a negative PCR test result or a Covid-19 vaccination certificate with one of the EU-approved vaccines. These include Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, and Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca).

As the competition will be held indoors where the infection risk is greater, it is also recommended that fans wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times.



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