In Brazil, footballers begin playing on the beach, before moving on to futsal and then grass to international stardom and no wonder the South American nation produces world’s best players and hold the record of winning the most World Cups,” remarked Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidential candidate Tom Alila.
Alila in his manifesto will rejuvenating prioritise beach soccer and futsal (football that is played on a hard-court) as it has been neglected and not accorded the seriousness that they deserve.
Alila said beach soccer and Futsal can create more football playing opportunities and create alternative means of playing the popular sport as regular football has been flooded by many players.
Alila said beach soccer is also good for regular football preparations as football stars, as well as many other sportsmen and sportswomen take the best advantage of the benefits of the beach for their physical preparation. As experts point, the beach sand is an ideal surface to reinforce articulations and recover from joint injuries thanks to its instability and irregularity.
“Beach soccer is an extremely beneficial sport. Just like regular soccer, it gets your legs moving and sets your blood pressure at a good level. Playing on the sand gets your body moving in more difficult ways, which will increase a player’s physical condition. Plus, sand is a great shock absorber, which means no injuries for the player’s body,” he said.
He said even though the current federation has worked to bring back Beach soccer in the country but it has not done enough as it has been reduced to be played on a tournament basis.
“I will start a league that runs throughout the year. Encourage corporate and counties especially at the Coastal and lakeside region to adopt the sport and field teams from their areas,” he said.
Alila said since Beach soccer is mostly played by the ocean or at the lake side where there’s plenty of sand, his administration will collaborate with the various county governments which are based around these areas to construct beach soccer stadiums for play.
“Players from the Coast and the Lake region can take advantage of their proximity to sandy beaches to nurture and harness their talents as they seek an alternative way of playing football and hence earn from the sport,” he said.
Alila said if elected he will propose to Sports Kenya and the county governments to convert basketball, volleyball courts and gymnasiums for futsal playing purposes and encourage stakeholders to starts, futsal teams.
“I will support the formation of a body to run beach soccer and futsal and adopt them as members of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) where they also sit at the AGM and have voting rights just like the Players, Coaches and Referees Associations,” he said.
The participation of internationally renowned players such as flamboyant, four times English Premier League (EPL) winner with Manchester United Frenchman Eric Cantona Brazilians, Romario winner of 1994 World Cup and best player, 1985 Italian Serie A best player, 1981 Intercontinental Cup Most Valuable Player Zico has helped to expand television coverage to large audiences in over 170 countries worldwide.
Others are Spanish duo of Michel a six times Spanish league winner with Real Madrid and 1986 La Liga Spanish player of the year, Julio Salinas who won the Uefa Cup Winners Cup and European Cup with FC Barcelona.