It's not the World Cup, but an international tournament is on its way to Indianapolis. The first annual Mayor's International Futsal Cup will take place Sept. 18-20 in coordination with the Sister Cities Festival.
Mayor Greg Ballard announced the tournament Friday afternoon during a press conference at Pan Am Plaza.
"I'm really pleased to join the Indy Eleven leadership, Indiana Soccer, and many of our community partners to announce the 2015 Mayor’s International Futsal Cup," Ballard said. "In September, on this very site, 32 futsal teams from Indiana representing 32 countries will compete in a competitive 3-day futsal tournament taking place in a World Cup format."
What the hell is futsal, you ask? It's a version of soccer played on a hard surface with a smaller yet heavier ball. And there's only five players on each team. It's a fast-paced, technique driven game.
"The Mayor’s International Futsal Cup will create an opportunity for Indiana residents from diverse backgrounds to come together in a show of pride for their counties of origin in celebration of the world’s most popular sport," Ballard said.
Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir added that the Eleven are always looking to build their international outreach across the community and "these three days in September will go a long way in making an even greater and more meaningful connection."
The three-day event will be free to the public and include food vendors, live music, and the ever-important beer garden.