The Football Association has announced a three-year partnership with the Pokémon Company International to support the National Futsal Programme in England.
The deal comes into effect immediately with the aim of making the sport a natural part of children’s football development. The focus in year one of the partnership will be on increasing participation of school and club teams from across England in FA’s National Youth Futsal programme, the FA has stated in a Press release.
Throughout the partnership, Futsal and Pokémon will use their shared values of evolution and progression through training to help appeal to children; raising Futsal’s profile, creating a clear identity for the game and developing a twin tracking pathway that will mean boys and girls can play Futsal as a part of their overall experience of the game.
Futsal is integral to the progression of football standards across the England, with a number of current English players throughout the age groups having experienced Futsal while growing up.
With Futsal placing emphasis on technical ability, decision making and reaction time of players it can result in more technically confident players.
England’s Futsal head coach Michael Skubala was at St. George’s Park for the partnership launch and said: “It’s great to have such an iconic brand as Pokémon to sit alongside Futsal development in England.
“We’ll work hard together to engage with young players so that they can experience Futsal as part of their football development. It’s an exciting, fast-paced, technical game and I know they will love it.”
Dan Kiddle, FA’s head of commercial partnerships, added: “We’re delighted to welcome the Pokémon Company International as a partner to support our National Futsal strategy and help grow participation in England.
“Pokémon is an instantly recognisable brand across the world and we’re excited to work with together to encourage young players, of all abilities, to play the game of Futsal.”
The FA will work closely with Pokémon to create and deliver an exciting range of initiatives at participating schools and clubs, culminating in The FA National Youth Festival in May 2020, as well as supporting the England men’s national Futsal team.