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HISTORY

Arguably, minifootball has been around for over a century, and today, it’s still very popular worldwide. The sport, at some point, has been played by all footballers, both amateurs and professionals. Some have argued that it is the foundation for the well-known 11-aside football organized by FIFA.

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It differs in names, styles and number of players, according to countries. In Nigeria for instance, several names, including “Monkey Post” or 5-aside have been used to describe it, and it was usually played  on the streets of every nooks and crannies of the country, especially in the inner-lands, among the local people during national holidays or weekends. Some would adopt the 5-aside; others would adopt 6 or 7 or even 8-aside with different styles, rules and regulations.

 

The story is not so different in America, Europe etc. It was a perfect option for the standard pitch soccer, which rarely existed then. From this unique style of game, several soccer games have evolved, just as many notable footballers have been discovered, thanks to it.
Interestingly, this game has now been repacked and standardized into what is today known as Minifootball or Minisoccer and is duly regulated by a global body, the WMF (World Minifootball Federation). WMF is the official right owner to 5, 6, 7 and 8-aside Minifootball game, though it currently adopts 6-asides in its major championships. Minifootball is like the regular FUTSAL game but played out-door on a natural or artificial grass with only nine players (six in play), smaller goal post and a smaller field of about (46mx26m) and 30 minutes duration each half with a 10 minutes break. Unlike FUTSAL, minifootball rules observed throwing, corner but no offside play and played in an open pitch.



Since its establishment in 2013 in the beautiful city of Prague, Czechs Republic, WMF, under its pioneer President, Filip Juda, has grown into over 140 country member federations spread across five continents. Today, under the watch of WMF, all continental bodies: African Minifootball Federation, AMF, European Minifootbal Federation, EMF, Pan-America Minifootball Federation, PMF  Asia Minifootball Confederation, AMC and Oceania Minifootball Federation, OMF have become firmly rooted, assisting member nations in the development of minifootball through national, continental and world championships as well as youth empowerment and infrastructural development.
 
In 2015, it organized the first world cup in nine cities in the United States of America, USA. The glamorous event was won by the U.S.A, who played against Mexico in the final. Afterwards, WMF organized the 2017 edition of the world minifootball cup in the city of Tunis, Tunisia. The event in Tunis, which was won by the Czechs republic, marked a huge positive turning point in the life of the game; its organization and members. Over 20 countries are currently bidding for the 2019 and 2021 WMF World Minfootball Cup with Australia being the favorite to host the 2019 edition.
 
While a few of the continental federations, especially European Minifootbal Federation, EMF, have been in existence even before the world body and as such has been organizing minifootball nations cup as far back as 2011, most of the continental bodies just had their debut edition of  their continental championships. The first WMF world continental cup will be played in December, 2018 in Tunis.

At the 2017 edition of WMF’s general assembly, it was agreed that under-21 world cup and the women world cup be introduced. The first edition of the Under-21 world cup will be hosted in Czechs republic in October, 2018. WMF will also begin a world champion club tournament by 2020. Therefore, federations have been advised to form leagues and winners of the leagues playing continental championship and then world club championship, starting from the year 2020.

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Expectedly, there are different stories of how the continental federations were formed. For instance, AMC, led by its pioneer President, Achraf Ben Salha, was formed on the 8th of December 2016 in Tunisia as African Minifootball Federation, AMF, with only five member countries: Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, South Africa and Gambia. Later, at the second general Assembly, held on the 14th of October, 2017 in Tunis, another three countries were admitted. Nigeria joined AMC on the 13th of May, 2018 at the 3rd AMC General Assembly held in Tripoli, Libya. Today, AMC has 26 member countries.
 
After it successfully held a well-packaged African Minifotball Nations cup, which was won by Ivory Coast, the federation, undoubtedly, has a huge potential for growth.
 
Minifootball is often adjudged by many, arguably, as one of the fastest growing amateur sports in the world. It is no doubt a beautiful sport with the potential of being the most widely played sport.

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