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CANADIAN MEN'S FUT-SAL™ NATIONAL TEAM WAS HISTORIC DURING THE FUTSAL® WORLD CUP IN MEXICO 2023

For the first time in 40 years of Indoor Soccer (FUTBOL DE SALON -FUTSAL™) in Canada since 1983. Canada nets 9 Goals it is the first win of a kind against a South American Nation. Canada 9:2 Bolivia at the FUTSAL® WORLD CUP 2023 in Mexico.



Sebastian Lopez opened the scoring for Canada in a stunning display of prowess on the FUT-SAL™ court, Canada has shattered a 40-year dry spell, scoring an impressive 9 goals in a single match at the FUTSAL® World Cup. The resounding victory marks a historic moment for Canadian FUT-SAL™, as the team showcased unmatched skill and determination.



Canadian Indoor Soccer enthusiasts were rejoicing as the national team clinched an unforgettable win, breaking a four-decade-long streak of goal-scoring challenges. The last time Canada achieved such a remarkable feat was back in 1984 to qualify for FUT-SAL World Cup ESPANA 1985, making this recent accomplishment all the more noteworthy.


The Canadian squad, led by Coach Nicolas Martinez, demonstrated exceptional teamwork and individual brilliance throughout the match. From precision passes to clinical finishes, every aspect of their game was finely tuned, leaving both fans and opponents in awe.


Match day 2 was a thrilling Showdown: Canada Battled Back to Secure 2-2 Draw Against Mexico in North American Rivalry.

In a nail-biting clash that added another chapter to the intense North American rivalry in Group A, Canada faced off against Mexico in their second encounter at the FUTSAL® WORLD CUP. In a display of grit and determination, Canada mounted a comeback from behind, ultimately securing a hard-fought 2-2 draw that left fans on the edge of their seats.



The much-anticipated showdown between Canada and Mexico lived up to expectations, as both teams delivered a riveting performance on the field. The match witnessed a series of dramatic twists and turns, with the final scoreline reflecting the fierce competition that unfolded throughout the game.


First-Half Drama: The initial stages of the match saw Mexico taking an early lead, showcasing their attacking prowess. Despite facing adversity, the Canadian team remained resilient, defending with determination and seeking opportunities to turn the tide.


Canada's Comeback: As the second half kicked off, Canada intensified their efforts to bridge the gap. The breakthrough came with a spectacular goal from Jacob ORELLANA, injecting renewed energy into the Canadian squad. Buoyed by the equalizer, Canada continued to press forward, demonstrating a relentless spirit that culminated in another crucial goal from Sebastian LOPEZ, leveling the score at 2-2. With Mexican fans throwing objects to Team Canada players.


Individual brilliance played a pivotal role in Canada's comeback, with standout performances from players such as Luigi Caruso the captain playing the entire game with only one eye vision after a fantastic save that almost made him blind, Jacob Orellana, Joshua Garcia and Sebastian Lopez. Their skillful play, strategic moves, and unwavering dedication contributed significantly to Canada's ability to salvage a draw from what seemed like a precarious situation.


The Canada-Mexico rivalry, known for its fierce competitiveness, was on full display throughout the match. Tackles were robust, strategies were tactical, and the atmosphere was charged with the passion of two nations vying for supremacy in North America Futbol De Salon. With the draw leaving the match finely balanced, anticipation builds for future encounters between Canada and Mexico. The North American rivalry remains as intense as ever, promising more thrilling moments and showcasing the dynamic and evolving nature of FUT-SAL™ in the region.


In a gripping showdown on Match Day 3 of the FUTSAL® World Cup, Canada faced off against the powerhouse team Uruguay in a match that ultimately determined their fate in the tournament. Despite a rocky start, Canada showcased resilience and determination, dominating the second half of the game. However, a valiant effort was not enough as Uruguay emerged victorious with an 8-4 scoreline, marking the end of Canada's World Cup journey and paving the way for Mexico's advancement on goal difference.



The highly-anticipated clash between Canada and Uruguay unfolded with early drama as Uruguay swiftly took the lead, netting a goal within the first minutes of the game. The initial setback did little to dampen the spirits of the Canadian squad, who regrouped and refocused as the match progressed.


First-Half Struggles, Canada faced a formidable challenge in the first half, grappling with Uruguay's offensive prowess. The early goal deficit posed a significant hurdle, but the team displayed commendable resilience, weathering the storm and preventing further damage on the scoreboard.


Second-Half Resurgence: As the second half commenced, Canada launched a spirited comeback, demonstrating an impressive display of skill and determination. Goals from Joshua Garcia, and Yousif Yousif showcased Canada's offensive capabilities, turning the tide and igniting hopes of a dramatic turnaround. Canada missed big chances that may have tied the game 8:8. Uruguay proved to be a formidable opponent, mounting a final surge that secured their spot in the World Cup final. The final scoreline of 8-4 reflected the intensity and competitiveness of the match. The defeat against Uruguay meant that Canada's World Cup journey came to an end. With Mexico securing advancement on goal difference, the Canadian squad faced elimination, bringing a bittersweet conclusion to their campaign. Canadians praised the team's fighting spirit and resilience. Players expressed mixed emotions, acknowledging the disappointment of the loss but also recognizing the positive strides made throughout the tournament. Canadian fans demanded a change in the rules to have the last games of the group stages played at the same time. Stating the fact that in 1982 when the first ever FUTSAL® World Cup was hosted a few teams could match South American opponets and after 40 years Canada want it as other countries. Playing the final group games at the same time represent fair competition.


While Canada may be leaving the World Cup stage, the experience gained and the lessons learned from challenging encounters against top-tier teams like Uruguay will undoubtedly shape the future of Canadian FUT-SAL™. Fans can look forward to the team's continued growth and development on the international stage under the current leadership.



We had a word with Team Canada Captain LUIGI CARUSO "The championship meant the world to every single player who put on the national team jersey. We had a good mixture of youth and veterans so it was awesome to see the different mentalities that came to train and play on a daily basis. To a player like myself who has experienced multiple national team call ups. I can truthfully say that the Canadian national team brought me more joys than I’ve ever experienced on an international level. Not everyone gets to experience this in their lifetime and I will be forever grateful that I was given this opportunity to wear the national team jersey again. I hope that I will be physically and mentally okay for the next World Cup where I can give the country 120% in each moment. This experience for me was the most memorable experience in my Futsal career." Q1:How was it playing with one eye against Mexico? "I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to come out of the game however, I just could not do that to my brothers on the pitch so we kept going. We kept fighting minute after minute until something went our way. We got a penalty shot and our other leader Jacob Orellana scored with 4 minutes left to make it 2-1. Somehow, someway we were still in this game. I kept saying to the guys , keep going , keep fighting, we still have time. Then with 26 seconds left, there it was. Our opportunity. Yousif intercepted the ball and Seba and Jacob linked up for an incredible moment in Canadian Futsal history. Against all odds, Canada took points from Mexico in Mexico." Q2: What happened against Uruguay? "In game 3 against Uruguay, the first 7 minutes, it was a simple case of Men vs Boys. Uruguay came out flying and we just had no response. You cannot afford to go down 6-0 to Uruguay and expect to win. We did eventually buckle down and played our game and the score of 8-4 was fair but we still could have scored plenty more. All in all I believe the team over achieved and we showed the world that Canadians can play Fut-Sal."


Q3: What should Canadians look up in the future? "I think Canadians should look up to the World Cup and making the knockout stages, every single time. If the team we had did what we did. Imagine what a team that trained more consistently could do, and hopefully we can bring in more sponsors or have the government support us some more. I think this experience and exposure should have the youth of Canada excited for what is to come. The possibilities are endless if you have the drive and motivation to represent the national team."


Q4: What needs to change or be emphasized for Canada to be on the podium in the next World Cup?


"I think what needs to change definitely Is Being able to bring the best Canada has to offer. There are so many other provinces that have major talents. I know that there is a league in Quebec that could have fielded 2 other national teams. The problem there is that the FIFA national team coach says to everyone, if you play for the AMF National team I will never call you to the FIFA national team yet all of us are developed by AMF. That is problem is, for now at least. We need to be true to Canadians! This is the original Indoor Soccer game we all played even the coaches out there played. The current TFC coach John Herdman was a president for AMF in England and he coached Canada in the Soccer World Cup nothing to hide anymore because it affects us as players, we need more resources. There is a way to coexist but for some reason they choose to threaten the good young Canadian talent. I know this because the other coach in Montreal said that to me numerous times and other players who were apart of that team. Canada has tremendous talent in many parts, it’s about getting everyone together on the same page so we can show the world what we really have to offer. I can’t help but think of the players we left at home because of financial reasons. We were 2/3 players away from the podium this World Cup. Let’s hope for the next one, we can be at our best!"


In an exclusive chat with Johnson Luyiga, the current president of the Canadian National FUTSAL™ Association, we explore a remarkable decade of achievements that have reshaped the landscape of Canadian FUT-SAL™ (Indoor Soccer). Luyiga's leadership has been instrumental in propelling both the men's and women's national teams to unprecedented heights, marking a historic era for Canadian FUTSAL™ on a world stage after four decades.



Q1: Congratulations on your tenure, Mr. Luyiga. Can you share some key milestones during your time as president of the Canadian National FuT-Sal Association?

Thank you. It's been an incredible journey over the past decade. We lost Daniel Ceros to cancer, and regrouping was tough all players, coaches, referees depended on his directions coast to coast. One of the key milestones during my tenure as president of the CNFA has been the rise of both the men's and women's national teams in the world rankings. We've witnessed the women's team achieve an outstanding second position, and the men's team secure a commendable 10th place, marking a historic achievement after 40 years. Our efforts to enhance grassroots development have borne fruit, with a noticeable increase in participation at the grassroots level. We've implemented programs and initiatives to nurture young talent, ensuring a promising future for Canadian Fut-Sal. I think we had youth players involved at the world cup from Vancouver BC, Montreal QC, etc.

Q2: The women's national team has achieved a remarkable feat, securing the second spot in the world rankings. What strategies and initiatives do you attribute to this unprecedented success?

We recognized the importance of providing equal opportunities and resources to the women's team. I think in Canada no association will come close. In 2013 the women just participated at the world championships. In 2022 we introduced some coaching strategies empowered by our community engagement initiatives, school programs, and grassroots clinics not only increased participation but also generated a deeper interest in the sport among young girls which led to a historical World Cup performance for Canada. In my view they competed and countries now think about Canada differently.

Q3: The men's national team has also seen significant progress, currently holding the 10th position globally. What challenges did you face in elevating the men's team, and how did you overcome them?

We developed a clear, long-term and short-term strategy for men's INDOOR SOCCER in Canada. This included setting realistic short and long-term goals, outlining pathways for player development, and establishing benchmarks for success. We needed experienced athletes to team up with energetic youth athletes to go compete for Canada. I think Captain Caruso narrated the challenges. We just need more resources and investments from governments and private sponsors. We have made everyone believe that Canada got what it takes to become champions one day.

Q4: After 40 years, Canada has witnessed a resurgence in futsal prominence under your leadership. What inspired you to take on this role, and what were your goals when you assumed the presidency?

I was pursued to take on this position to create opportunities for youth in this country. They needed a realistic dream, Indoor Futbol is played by indigenous and middle class families on out continent without it these families cannot afford the costs associated to participate in sports, they needed this.


Q5: They nicknamed you Nelson Mandela of Fut-Sal Canada. Do you have a reflection of who Nelson Mandela was?

I appreciate the honor of being nicknamed the "Nelson Mandela of FutSal Canada," and it's essential to reflect on the significance of such a comparison. Nelson Mandela was a transformative leader known for his unwavering commitment to justice, reconciliation, and positive change. As the first black president of South Africa, he played a pivotal role in dismantling the apartheid system and fostering unity in a divided nation. Maybe my role as a source of resilience, inclusivity, and a commitment to positive change, inspired hope within the Canadian FUTSAL™ community and internationally.


Q6: In your opinion, what sets Canadian FUT-SAL™ apart on the international stage, and how do you envision the continued growth of the sport in the coming 3 years left on your current term?

I wish to see Canadians teaming up together and support the indigenous National team playing on home soil again. See Canada host the C13 FUTSAL® WORLD CUP 2025. Building strong partnerships with domestic clubs, academies, Ensuring top-notch training facilities, sports science support, and sports medicine services is integral for player development. Continued investments in infrastructure contribute to creating a professional and conducive environment for players. Addressing challenges, and ensuring that the sport continues to capture the hearts of Canadians while making a mark on a world stage. Through a combination of strategic planning, investment, and community engagement, I am confident that Canadian FUT-SAL™ will thrive and contribute significantly to economic growth and tourism in Canada.


Q8: Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the CNFA, and how do you plan to build on the current success to maintain a competitive edge on the global stage? I think we need to encourage a culture of creativity and innovation within the organization and its members to continuously find new ways to enhance performance. Maintain a rigorous schedule of international competitions, friendlies, and training camps to expose our players to diverse playing styles and strategies. Actively seek participation in prestigious tournaments and events to showcase Canadian FUT-SAL™ on the global stage. Prioritize coaching education programs to produce a cadre of highly skilled and innovative coaches. Build on the current success of both the men's and women's national teams by reinforcing the strengths that have propelled them to their current global positions.


Q9: Johnson you are the first president to score for Canada. How did it feel and who convinced you to play?

Coach Carlos convinced me to play while in Barcelona with the youth National Team, unfortunately he was not able to be part of the Canadian coaching staff. He chose to be the assistant coach for Colombia during the world cup. He asked me to play for Canada, in his view the players needed someone to motivate them other national teams meet their country presidents before departing and he was worried about the mental strengthening of our athletes he told me I have a stronger presence. Scoring for Canada is a special feeling I ended up in the corner flag celebration GOAL.


Travelling squad: 1. CARUSO LUIGI, 2. KYNU SAMUELS, 3. JOSHUA GARCIA, 4. YOUSIF YOUSIF, 5. TOMASZ SKUBLAK, 6. NICOLAS MARTINEZ, 7. SEBASTIAN LOPEZ, 7. VALENTINE KING, 9. AXEL BOULANGER, 10. JACOB ORELLANA, 12. ROCHA JAYDEN, (TRAINING SQUAD MEMBER. SHAMSELDIN LENA - GUETTAI) Head Coach. NICOLAS MARTINEZ. Assistant Head coach. DAVID VELASTEGUI.


Other updates, Youth National Teams were invited to play in the Catalunya sports week held in Barcelona July 07 to 14, 2023. Canada was number 2 overall.

The Team played some development friendlies to measure their ongoing successes as a Team. Canada will be playing in the Category 17 World Cup May, 2024 in Paraguay and in the Category 20 World Cup in Barcelona November 2024


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