Golden Futsal Challenge 2023: Tournament to begin in February

Golden Futsal Challenge 2023 - the biggest inter-island futsal event in the Maldives - has been scheduled to commence on 4 February 2023.

The Golden Futsal Challenge is a nation-wide initiative by Golden Futsal Association, and has been held successfully 6 times in the past. The tournament is formatted to include an Atoll, Zone, and a final round of matches. With participation from across all atolls, the Golden Futsal Challenge has been the winning stage for all Maldivian Futsal champions.

Submissions open for participation

The Golden Futsal Challenge 2022 saw a participation of 91 teams from across Maldives who competed in 177 matches. As such, Golden Futsal Challenge 2023 is expected to receive bigger support from the atolls next year.

Submissions for participation is open until 15 November - submissions were first opened for the island councils and the management of the former teams.

Golden Futsal Association's president, Rilwan Moosa told 'One' on Wednesday that submissions will be open for all islands after 15 November to sign up additional teams.

"We have opened submissions for the management of former teams as well as island councils until 15 November. We will give priority to teams that sign up during this period. Afterwards, we will open submission for everyone,"Rilwan said.

Interested teams can contact the organising officials from Golden Futsal Association to sign up for the tournament. The officials can be contacted via 982-8868 and 999-4470, the Association said.

Positive change to the format

The Golden Futsal Challenge has been deemed the most successful format for atoll and island representation in a tournament so far. While former tournaments have highlighted atoll and island zest for the tournament, next year's tournament will be held with some positive changes to the format, the Association revealed.

As such, Rilwan noted that a league round will be played in atolls with a participation of 6 or less teams as well as an additional final match. Although former tournaments followed the league round for atolls with 6 or less teams, the winners were chosen based on the league. Unlike that, next year's tournament will include a separate final match between the two leading teams and the winning team will qualify for the zone round.

Similar to the former tournaments, atolls with a participation of more than 6 teams will face-off at a group stage containing 2 groups. However, there will be two semi final matches to determine winners. As such, winners from Group A will face-off with Runners-up from Group B and vice versa in a semi final match and the two winners will qualify for the zone round from the atoll. The champion will be decided from a final match amongst the two winners from the semi final matches.

Th. Thimarafushi won the champions of the Golden Futsal Challenge 2022 after beating K. Gaafaru. Thimarafushi also took the cup in 2019 and 2016 as well.

'One' has signed on as the Online Media Partner for the Golden Futsal Challenge 2023.