Today, Friday 4 June 2021 is exactly 100 days to the kick-off of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™.
This crucial milestone is an important step on the path to the 52 matches that will get underway on 12 September in the three host cities in Lithuania. The 24 teams found out on Tuesday, 1 June which groups they were in, and who their first opponents will be en route to the final, to be held on 3 October. Will Argentina be able to defend the crown they won at Colombia 2016 or will new champions ascend to the summit in Kaunas? On this special day, we run through some of the main facts and figures ahead of the forthcoming Futsal World Cup.
The host nation
Lithuania are not just hosting but actually taking part in a Futsal World Cup for the first time. We spoke with national futsal team captain Justinas Zagurskas about the World Cup in particular and futsal in general.
The three host cities
After the FIFA inspection and in conjunction with the local organising committee, it was Kaunas, Vilnius and Klaipeda that were chosen as venues for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™ – the first ever FIFA tournament to be held in Lithuania.
The architecture in the centres of our three host cities is remarkable. There will also be brand new modern arenas for the fans, where the atmosphere promises to be something special – we’re used to watching sporting events here in arenas. Basketball is very popular here and the matches are always played in front of packed crowds. I’m sure that we can expect the same for the World Cup.
The emblem draws its inspiration first and foremost from Lithuania’s natural treasures and technical expertise. The base is a beautiful green landscape surrounded by the leaves of the oak tree that symbolises strength and which has been revered in Lithuanian mythology for centuries. The theme of nature, underlining the importance of conservation in Lithuania, is developed via the oak through fields and meadows in the colours of the country’s flag. The upper part of the emblem reflects the modern technology of the country. A futsal pitch borne by lasers recalls the country’s achievements in the fields of science and technology.
Ivartito the mascot represents both the tournament and the sport – a role he fulfils with passion and openness. His friendly demeanour makes him the perfect team-mate, and his name – which comes from the Lithuanian word for goal (“ivartis”) – is of course a reference to the excitement and the goals that characterise futsal. The stork has been the national bird of Lithuania since 1973 and is a symbol of the ecological variety and natural beauty of the country. Storks are also seen as bearers of good fortune and peace.
The road to glory
The 24 teams have been divided up into six groups of four teams. Hosts Lithuania are in Group A and will get the tournament underway on 12 September in the Kaunas Arena against Venezuela, who are also taking part in the tournament for the first time. Defending champions Argentina find themselves in Group F, with their first match coming against USA in Vilnius. Five-time winners Brazil (whose last trophy came in 2012) are in Group D and face Vietnam in their opener in Klaipeda.
The defending champions
Five years ago in Colombia, Argentina won their first FIFA Futsal World Cup, the Albiceleste defeating Russia 5-4 in the final. Prior to that, only Brazil (record-holders with five titles) and Spain (two titles) had ever won the tournament. We spoke to Argentina’s No.10 Constantino Vaporaki, who scored the winner in the final, about the effects that the World Cup win had on the country.
Futsal has made great progress in Argentina. You can see it at league level – the matches are of higher quality, there is greater intensity and the teams can compete on equal terms in international competitions.
As part of the 100-day countdown celebrations, some special activities will take place across the three host cities of Lithuania at the weekend. Be sure to keep an eye on our platforms on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with them.
Fancy following some futsal? Then you’ll love the FIFA Futsal World Cup app!
For the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™, FIFA has launched the “FIFA Futsal WC 2021 Challenge” app, which will enable football fans and gamers to experience every minute of the fun and fascination of the most important futsal tournament in the world via their mobile devices.
Do you want to be part of the tournament? Apply to be a volunteer!
We are actively looking for volunteers for the tournament from 12 September to 3 October 2021 in the cities of Kaunas, Vilnius and Klaipeda.
We are looking for volunteers to work in various departments, including accreditation, spectator service, transport and volunteer management. No experience necessary, all are welcome. Go to the FIFA Volunteer Platform to find out more about the different roles.
We look forward to receiving your application.