Tag: Futsal

Mark Edward Brown Named VP of the USAFF

It’s been a busy year building the sport of Futsal in the USA. Last January (2019) I was promoted to the office of Vice President. This is a slightly different leadership role than the previous Operations Officer role that I served in during 2018.

Mark Edward Brown Vice President of USAFF

With a new year and new responsibilities we began preparing the US Men’s National Futsal Team and the 20 and under Men’s team to train for their respective Futsal World Cup debuts. The leadership of the USAFF also passed from Mr. Zane Cook to Mr. Miguel Sanz. Much was done to establish the Federation in 2018 under Mr. Cook’s leadership and the mission to continue to build national and international relations has been at the forefront of Mr. Sanz’s daily duties.

National expansion is growing at a steady rate and Arizona & Massachusetts were added as their State Associations joined the USA Futsal Federation. There are 2 to 3 additional states in the process of coming on board and as soon as their paperwork is in order an announcement will be made as to who they are. We decided to focus on building nationally and therefore we decided not to train and send a team to the 13 and under category World Cup. We also postponed the USAFF Nationals and will have more developments as the fall and winter progress.

2020 looks to be a promising year as we add corporate sponsors, partners, more teams and more State Associations. If you are interested in learning more about the USAFF contact me and I will be happy to speak with you about the many great things we have going on and how you can become a part of this premier Futsal Federation.

Mark continues to serve as a founding member of the Oklahoma Futsal Association and the CEO of the Southwestern Oklahoma (SWOK) Futsal League.

Mark Edward Brown Travels to Paraguay

I recently flew to Paraguay for the AMF World Futsal Congress.  On Wednesday, 9 May 2018 I boarded a plane in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and flew to Panama City, Panama.  With a very brief lay over I then boarded a play to Asuncion, Paraguay when I arrived early the next morning. After purchasing my tourist visa I had a short wait and then Freddie, one of Dr. Ronaldo Alarcon’s assistants, drove me to the Esplendora Grand Wyndham Hotel.

I traveled to Paraguay to meet Mr. Zane Cook who is the President of AMF USA and Mr. Luis Quiroz, the Vice President.  We were meeting there and attending the World Futsal Congress to obtain sanctioning in order to represent and grow the game of Futsal in association with AMF.  AMF is the world’s oldest and most prestigious Futsal Governing Body that traces it’s roots back to the inventor of the game, Juan Carlos Ceriani.

My room was quite comfortable so I closed my eyes and took a brief nap. I woke up to the telephone in my room ringing and when I answered it the front desk attendant explained to me that all of the delegates from the other countries whom were there would be boarding a bus to meet with Dr. Alarcon for lunch.  This was quite an unexpected event so I was delighted to take the elevator down to the lobby and meet Freddie once again and several men from various countries around the world who were important Futsal Executives.

When we arrived at the restaurant it was a large establishment with a buffet in the center and spacious seating all around. Dr. Alarcon was there and this was the first time I met him in person so I was very happy and I gave him a gracious handshake and a hug. I told him briefly that I was honored to meet him and join him for this mid-day dining experience. Tony from Australia, Reis from Curacao were seated directly across from me and to my right was Jody from South Africa and to my left Wilfrido also from Curacao. We all sat together because we were the English speaking fellows of the group.  The rest of the gentlemen in our group were from Argentina, Mexico, and many other Central and South American countries. We were treated to a meal of various cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Lunch lasted about 3 hours and was a terrific welcome and intro. to Paraguay.

That evening we went to a soccer match to experience more of the culture and sporting social scene. We closed out the first day with a light snack and a night cap. On day 2 (Friday), I went down stairs for breakfast and around mid-morning I met with Mr. Cook and Mr. Quiroz who had arrived in Paraguay earlier that morning.  For lunch we went next door to an Italian restaurant where I enjoyed some fettucine alfredo and great conversation about how Futsal works and operates in other countries. That evening was very similar to the afternoon, we were all eager to meet one another and exchange contact information and plans for the future so we had a repeat of lunch and went back to the same Italian restaurant because of the fantastic food and ambiance.

Saturday was the official meeting day of the 11th World Congress of Futsal. We started around 8:30am with a brief intro. and welcome from Dr. Alarcon followed by an authentic rendition of the Paraguay National Anthem and a few selections of country specific songs. The day was filled with reports form all of the member countries and delegates.  At about mid-morning Mr. Cook was introduced and invited to address the congress, he explained the importance of growing the sport of Futsal in the USA and across North America.  He also explained how countless Futsal players in America had been misled and taken advantage of by an organization that I will not name here. After some deliberation and briefings from other new countries who were also seeking membership with the AMF Dr. Alarcon announced that Mr. Cook, Mr. Quiroz, and I would be given full and exclusive recognition and sanction to build and operate Futsal in the United States.  This news by Dr. Alarcon was extremely good and one of the main reasons we traveled thousands of miles to Paraguay.

We took a break for lunch and returned to continue with the days events. Several topics were covered that afternoon with an in-depth presentation of the rules of the game by one of the lead referees. New initiatives and future plans were discussed and then the Congress was closed.  We were invited to Dr. Alarcon’s home later that evening to celebrate the former President of the AMF; Don Pedro Nolasco Cárdenas. It was a grand celebration where live music, a BBQ, friends and Family alike were treated to Dr. Alarcon’s world class hospitality.

The following day we met around mid-morning to re-initiate the inactive Futsal Confederation known as CONCAFUTSAL  CONCAFUTSAL is now an active Futsal Organization comprised of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  We planned the next Confederations cup between Curacao, Mexico, the USA and Canada.  

Additionally, Mr. Cook, Mr. Quiroz and I planned meticulously how to expand Futsal’s presence in North America. Futsal is an ever expanding and growing sport that is sometimes unknowingly related to a soccer organization who touts a similarly played game with similar rules just different enough that uneducated players and coaches can be duped.

I left Paraguay late that night and arrived back in the USA a few days later. Each of the three of us have been coordinating meetings, setting up leagues and orchestrating the expansion of Futsal as planned previously that following days.

Mark Edward Brown Appointed as Chief Operations Officer of AMF USA Futsal

I was honored and surprised to receive a phone call from Mr. Zane Cook who is the President of AMF USA, the United States Based Governing Body Mark Edward Brown C.O.O.for Futsal. He asked me to accept the position of Chief Operations Officer of this growing organization that exists to educate and build the sport across Nouth America and the USA.  Based on my background and experience with building the Southwestern Oklahoma Futsal League and my previous position as the Chief Operations Officer of the Lawton Soccer Club, I answered “Yes” without hesitation!

Futsal was founded by Juan Carlos Ceriani in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930.  He created a version of indoor futbol to be played recreationally in the YMCA.  In 1965 the Confederation Sudamericana de Futbol de Salon (South American Futsal Confederation) was formed between Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.  The sport spread across South America and has continued to grow ever since.

Futsal is in need of regulation and alignment in the USA and North America right now because it has been misrepresented by FIFA and US Soccer. You can learn more about AMF USA on our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AMFUSA/