Futsal Only Way To Improve Standard of Indian Football: Aparup Chakraborty

Futsal Only Way To Improve Standard of Indian Football, Says One of India's Youngest Match Commissioners Aparup Chakraborty.

Debangshu Biswas
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Kolkata's Aparup Chakraborty is India's youngest Match Commissioner to officiate more than 140 AIFF matches. In an exclusive chat with, Aparup Chakraborty spoke about his love for football and his dream of seeing a new India where every kid in the block has a ball to kick in the country.

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Futsal is an association football game played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor soccer, the game is played on a hard court surface marked by lines; walls or boards are not used. The ball is smaller, harder, low-bouncing than soccer. The surface, ball and rules together favour ball control and passing in small spaces. The game's emphasis is "on improvisation, creativity and technique.

Having started his career as a football administrator in 2014, Chakraborty fell in love with Futsal. He also believes that Futsal is the only way that Indian Football can improve.

"Started in 2014. Wanted to come in Futsal administration and I wanted to promote Futsal which is a five-side football match. We have all played in small goal-posts in our younger days and that is the essence of football." You talk about Pele, Messi, Maradona or Ronaldinho, they have all played at some point in time and the Latin America's short pass has come from Futsal only. It wasn't a part of the European culture before but now small-sided games (SSG) which is nothing but Futsal is slowly gaining popularity in Europe,"

Aparup Chakraborty said to

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The Baby League

Futsal has the power to become a game-changer for the Indian football scene. Aparup Chakraborty further added; "I have to develop the sport if we are to entertain any thoughts of improving the standard of Indian football. I am not talking about hosting a World Cup but I am talking about performing and Futsal is the only pathway for India to get into the world map as a successful footballing nation. AIFF has already started working on it. We have started the Baby League which is part of the FIFA development program and AIFF has taken this up very seriously. Baby League targets kids in the age group of 6-12 and it is a small-sided game that encourages participation of all registered kids. The goal is to encourage mass participation."

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The Baby League under AIFF Project has 49 teams playing more than 324 matches in 2 seasons. Chakraborty further revealed the steps to increase the popularity of the game; "I have started working on slum soccer since 2016 where the goal is to reach out to as many kids as possible from the underprivileged background and just give them a ball to play, just like we see tennis ball cricket or gully cricket. It will help in increasing the popularity of the game that will lead to increased interest and participation. I have a district-level slum soccer tournament and a select few players with potential get the chance to go to Mumbai to a slum soccer NGO."