Coaches and players react to draw for 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup

New Zealand international Hamish Grey says the Futsal Whites have landed a tough group at the FIFA Futsal World Cup “but we’ll be as well prepared as possible.”

Grey is among the coaches and players who have been analysing the draw for the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup, and sharing their reactions, since it was revealed on Monday May 27.

The tournament takes place between September 14 and October 6, 2024, in three host cities in Uzbekistan: Andijan, Bukhara and Tashkent.

Main photo: New Zealand is drawn in group D. Photo credit: FIFA.

For the Futsal Whites, it will be their first-ever World Cup.

Hamish Grey … ‘Every game is going to be tough.’ Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Grey says New Zealand’s Group D will be competitive.

He told “You have Spain, who have already won the World Cup twice; Kazakhstan, who have done very well historically; Libya, who are one of the strongest teams in Africa; and us, who are going to be adding a different dynamic to the group since it’s our first appearance at the World Cup.

“We know every game is going to be tough, but we’ll be as well prepared as possible.

“We’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Futsal Whites head coach Marvin Eakins said: “Spain are former world champions and will be a big test, Kazakhstan are a top ten team with some incredible players, and Libya are currently one of the best teams in Africa, but we have shown we can compete with sides at this level.

“We want to be playing against the best teams in the world, and this is an incredible opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s ability on the global stage.”

Leo Higuita … ‘we have to be wary of New Zealand and Libya.’ Photo credit: FIFA.

Leo Higuita, goalkeeper for New Zealand’s group rivals Kazakhstan, told “We’ve got Spain, a team with a lot of history, two-time champions of the world and one of the big favourites to win this World Cup.

“Then we’ve got New Zealand and Libya, who aren’t traditional futsal nations.

“I think you have Spain as the favourites, then us. In a World Cup there are always surprises.

“We have to be wary of New Zealand and Libya. But our target is to go through in first place. Our game against Spain could determine that.”

Spain coach Fede Vidal told “We knew all the groups would be tough. The evolution of futsal means that there are better players, better teams and more competitive games. Our first match, against Kazakhstan, will be hard, and then we have New Zealand and Libya. We must try to do our best.”

The opening game of the tournament will be between hosts Uzbekistan and the Netherlands.

Netherlands coach Miguel Andres said: “I’m looking forward to the World Cup even more after this draw. To be able to play the opening game of a World Cup against the host country is of course wonderful, but it is also a huge challenge. There will be a lot of Uzbek supporters there, so we really have to be 100 per cent ready from day one.”

Defending champions Portugal have drawn Morocco, Panama and Tajikistan, all emerging futsal nations.

Portugal coach Jorge Braz said: It’s a very difficult group with opponents who have very good offensive players.”

Futsal Whites … off to their first-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Tournament draw

# indicates current rating in latest FIFA world rankings

Group A

  • Uzbekistan (#11)
  • Netherlands (#36)
  • Paraguay (#13)
  • Costa Rica (#31)

Group B

  • Brazil (#1)
  • Cuba (#78)
  • Croatia (#16)
  • Thailand (#9)

Group C

  • Argentina (#5)
  • Ukraine (#12)
  • Afghanistan (#30)
  • Angola (#47)

Group D

  • Spain (#3)
  • Kazakhstan (#8)
  • New Zealand (#19)
  • Libya (#50)

Group E

  • Portugal (#2)
  • Panama (#44)
  • Tajikistan (#34)
  • Morocco (#6)

Group F

  • IR Iran (#4)
  • Venezuela (#21)
  • Guatemala (#40)
  • France (#10)

Group fixtures

Game to be played on Monday September 16, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Libya
Andijan Universal Sports Complex, Andijan, Uzbekistan, 12.30am (NZT)

Game to be played on Thursday September 19, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Spain
Andijan Universal Sports Complex, Andijan, Uzbekistan, 3am (NZT)

Game to be played on Sunday September 22, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Kazakhstan
Humo Arena, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 12.30am (NZT)

About the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup

The six group winners, six runners-up and the four best third-placed teams will go into a Round of 16 knockout stage.

The winners go forward to quarter-finals, before sudden death semi-finals and the final.

Host cities

The three host cities for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, the first FIFA event to be staged in a Central Asian country, have been decided, with the capital, Tashkent, being joined by the ancient Silk Road trading centre of Bukhara and the city of Andijan in the Fergana Valley.


1989: Brazil
1992: Brazil
1996: Brazil
2000: Spain
2004: Spain
2008: Brazil
2012: Brazil
2016: Argentina
2021: Portugal

Golden Ball winners

1989: Victor Hermans (Netherlands)
1992: Jorginho (Brazil)
1996: Manoel Tobias (Brazil)
2000: Manoel Tobias (Brazil)
2004: Falcao (Brazil)
2008: Falcao (Brazil)
2012: Neto (Brazil)
2016: Fernando Wilhelm (Argentina)
2021: Ricardinho (Portugal)

Most participations at a FIFA Futsal World Cup

Not including Uzbekistan 2024

9 – Brazil
9 – Spain
9 – Argentina
8 – IR Iran
7 – Australia
7 – Egypt
7 – Italy
7 – Paraguay
7 – Russia
6 – Portugal
6 – Thailand
6 – USA
5 – Costa Rica
5 – Costa Rica
5 – Cuba
5 – Guatemala
5 – Japan
5 – Ukraine
4 – Czechia
4 – Netherlands
4 – Solomon Islands
3 – Belgium
3 – China PR
3 – Kazakhstan
3 – Morocco
3 – Panama
3 – Uruguay
2 – Colombia
2 – Libya
2 – Serbia
2 – Uzbekistan
2 – Vietnam
1 – Algeria
1 – Angola
1 – Azerbaijan
1 – Canada
1 – Chinese Taipei
1 – Croatia
1 – Denmark
1 – Hong Kong
1 – Hungary
1 – Kuwait
1 – Lithuania
1 – Malaysia
1 – Mexico
1 – Mozambique
1 – Nigeria
1 – Poland
1 – Saudi Arabia
1 – Venezuela
1 – Zimbabwe

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