Latvia's annual women's futsal competition has enjoyed new record participation levels over the winter months.
During the winter period from January to March, the highlight of Latvian women’s and girls’ football is the annual futsal league. This year it has set new records in both participation and intrigue.
During Latvian winters, which are usually very snowy and cold, amateur and professional men's and women's teams all generally play indoors. Due to the high demand for covered artificial pitches, women and girls spend this period in various futsal halls.
The women’s futsal competition is split into four age groups – starting with players born in 2002 or before and ending with older girls taking their very first steps in football. From 39 teams last year, 51 took part this year. In the eldest age group, the number of participating teams grew by five, the U14 and U12 groups expanded by four and three teams respectively, while the youngest age group stayed put on eight teams.
The league was played in mini-tournaments in every age group, with games taking place in nine different cities to promote women’s and girls’ football in different places and give the participants the chance to experience a fully fledged campaign. All of the mini-tournaments were characterised by many tense and high-speed games, providing ideal preparation for the upcoming outdoor season in the women’s and girls’ summer championships.
This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct No166