Futbol Niagara, owned and operated by Ivan Klassen, provides high performance soccer and futsal training and programs for individuals and teams of all ages in the Niagara area.
Futbol Niagara is now taking soccer hearts by storm with Futsal!
Recently sanctioned by the Niagara Soccer Association and Ontario Soccer Association, Futbol Niagara is now operating the first and only fully sanctioned Futsal Leagues for boys and girls and in all age groups in Niagara.
What is Futsal and Why Play?
Futsal is the only 5v5 indoor soccer game sanctioned by FIFA. “Futsal” comes from Spanish fútbol sala or fútbol de salón , which can be translated as “room football”.
For decades now, futsal has been a popular and much-loved sporting discipline, especially in South America and southern Europe. And while the indoor version of football has rapidly grown in popularity in Europe North America, thanks to FIFA’s patronage and the support of many leading personalities, it is in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Portugal that futsal has proved a breeding ground for some of the greats of the game.
The list is topped by Lionel Messi. Messi took his first steps to greatness playing futsal rather than soccer. “As a little boy in Argentina, I played futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today,” while reflecting on the benefits of the five-a-side version of the game. Messi is by no means the only superstar with futsal roots. Apart from the Argentinian wizard, the likes of Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Ronaldo learned the trade in the sports hall.
Cristiano Ronaldo honed his natural ability by playing futsal. “During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal,” he said. “The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
World and European champion Xavi revealed his love of futsal to UEFA.com, citing one reason in particular: “In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented. In normal football you don’t necessarily identify talent as easily because it’s so much more physical. But with futsal, you notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding. In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented… you notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding.”
Futbol Niagara Leading the Way with Futsal Leagues
Ivan Klassen and Futbol Niagara are now bringing this exciting and emerging sport to the Niagara Region. Ivan and his team of futsal supporters Fernando Chavez (a FIFA licenced Coach from Uruguay), Boris Apsitis, Ken Lamb, Skender Nikka, Jim Tober and Dana Heimbecker look to make a significant positive impact in the Niagara soccer community in the coming years.
The goal of Futbol Niagara is to complement the Niagara Soccer Association members and to support local coaches and teams with technical and tactical training year round. The vision to partner with the NSA and their sanctioned clubs has been in Ivan Klassen’s heart for some time. “ We support the local soccer clubs and establish a link with all of them, without being a competitor, rather to be a partner in developing soccer talent in the region.”
Mr. Klassen will also put together sanctioned competitive travel futsal teams that will play in the highest recognized leagues and tournaments in Canada and the United States such as the Ontario Futsal Cup and the Umbro Futsal Cup and National competitions.
Working With Schools
“We are also approaching the school boards and individual schools to develop in-school futsal programs which would be very cost effective given they would play in their own school gyms” Klassen said. “The main goal of this program is for the students to experience what soccer is really about: fun, physical activity, learning new tricks, and making new friends. We strive to motivate young players to continue building confidence in their skills and in themselves.”.
The beauty of the new Futsal leagues is easily accessible to where games will be played – on two fully approved and sanctioned indoor courts at the Haig Bowl, 17 Beech Street in downtown St Catharines, located centrally in the Niagara Region, only minutes from the QEW and 406 Highways.
Leagues start in October and will continue throughout the traditional soccer “offseason”. For information on pricing, registering individual players and teams please visit Futbol Niagara at the Haig Bowl Arena or by calling: