The UEFA Futsal Champions League finals arrive in Latvia this week, with four teams vying to lift the trophy in Sunday's final.
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With Friday's semi-finals on the horizon, we hear from UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and his counterpart from the Latvian Football Federation (LFF), Vadims Ļašenko – who played in this competition for Nikars Riga – to preview the action from the Arena Riga.
Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president
I wish you a warm welcome to Latvia and its capital Riga for the UEFA Futsal Champions League finals.
UEFA’s important decision in 2018 to rename its premier club futsal competition is having a significant impact in raising its profile, as well as boosting public awareness of futsal in general. A bright future awaits European futsal as the sport sets a positive course ahead – bolstered by UEFA’s strategic campaign to foster the game’s appeal and exposure.
The Arena Riga has already had experience of staging a major European futsal tournament when it hosted the inaugural UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship finals in 2019.
Now, this impressive venue will be the setting for an exciting tournament featuring many of futsal’s finest stars who will provide fans with action of the highest calibre.
We are looking forward to some excellent entertainment as the participating teams strive to add the prestigious title to their list of honours. Enjoy the action – and may the best team win!
Vadims Ļašenko, LFF president
We are delighted to welcome the best clubs and biggest stars of European futsal to the Arena Riga, right here in the heart of Latvia’s capital!
We would like to thank UEFA for showing confidence in the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) to organise a tournament of this magnitude. Riga boasts high-quality infrastructure and amazing tourism opportunities and has shown on numerous occasions that it can host sporting events at the highest level in a festive atmosphere.
Our capital welcomes the tournament participants and futsal lovers from all over Europe with open arms and with a broad entertainment programme on offer.
Many people will benefit from having this event in Riga and Latvia. Firstly, the entire Latvian futsal community which is growing and developing rapidly. Secondly, Latvian sports fans are being given the opportunity to enjoy the best that futsal can offer. Latvian football’s image abroad will also benefit, confirming our ability to organise a European sporting event of this magnitude.
In 2019, we felt the responsibility that came with hosting the first UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship. Because futsal has a special place in the Latvian football system, we are now ambitiously climbing to a new level.
We wish everyone a successful tournament!