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guatemalacrowd070612.jpg (397187 bytes)(The CONCACAF Futsal Championship Group A match pitting host and defending champion Guatemala against the United States at the Domo Polideportivo in Guastemala City on 7/4/12 drew a crowd of 6,046, the largest in competition history. CONCACAF Photo.)

Host Guatemala Drawing Record Crowds at CONCACAF Futsal Championship

From www.conconcaf.com

GUATEMALA CITY - The hottest ticket in Guatemala City has been this week's CONCACAF Futsal Championship and the place to be has been the Domo Polideportivo, where the tournament is being played in its entirety.

On Wednesday, the Group A match pitting host and defending champion Guatemala against the United States drew a crowd of 6,046 -- the largest in competition history.

"It was great to see so many people in the Domo Polideportivo supporting their team and I have to complement their behavior, it was an example for our region that major events can be hosted in an orderly and secure manner," said Union of Central American Football General Secretary, Mario Monterrosa, who is Chairman of the CONCACAF Futsal Committee."The fans attending the matches were part of a world-class show and gave an incredible atmosphere."

The previous record was set on June 8, 2008, when 5,715 watched Guatemala overcome Cuba on penalty kicks in the final, also at the Domo Polideportivo.

Monterrosa is directing this event for CONCACAF, overseeing all the organizational aspects, plus managing the relationship between the confederation and the Guatemalan Football Federation's Local Organizing Committee.

He provided a glimpse on futsal's development and popularity in Guatemala: "Futsal in Guatemala has been a way of life for more than 25, since the majority of the population has been practicing it as a recreational sport. But it was in the year 2000, when it became a hit sport after Guatemala hosted the FIFA World Cup. A professional futsal league was created in 2003, which developed the sport and began forming players for the national team that qualified for its third FIFA World Cup last Wednesday. This has created a feeling of success for the whole country that will make futsal's popularity even greater in the years to come."

To put the CONCACAF Futsal Championship's status in Guatemala into statistical perspective, Wednesday's attendance exceeded that of 39 of the 56 games played at the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

Friday's CONCACAF semifinal doubleheader - Costa Rica v Panama and Guatemala v Mexico - is expected to shatter the attendance record set only two days earlier.

"I expect nothing else than a sold out crowd," added Monterrosa."Unfortunately, the facility can just hold 6,800 fans, because if it was larger a bigger crowd will attend."

With each of the four semifinalists already assured of places at the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand, the fans in Guatemala are guaranteed to witness more entertaining futsal.

Futsal On-Line ...