Boris Shipunov is the President of the Baltic Futsal League who shared his opinion about his project: the days of formation have led to a period of growth that is still going on despite all the obvious obstacles that the entire sports world have faced.
— Let’s start with the issues of the current moment: how does the Baltic Futsal League live today with all the uncertainty and lack of guarantees regarding start period of any competition?
— Indeed, we are the third in line to draw up a rhythmic calendar. UEFA has already presented a schedule for the European Cup tournaments for the next season, but some National Futsal Federations from the countries participating in the BFL are still in the calendar-execution stage. Our position has long been voiced and well known: we accept the superiority of the schedules and calendars of national and international tournaments over the BFL calendar, which means that until we receive all the dates of games in the domestic championships, we will not start agreeing on the schedules of our games.
— When will this happen?
— I hope that this week we will begin to agree on the format of the BFL games for the 2020/21 season.
— Has the start time already been determined?
— We moved the start of our second season from October to December 2020 due to the coronavirus emergency, which also prevented us from completing the first season six months ago. We are well aware that the national championships will therefore have a very tight autumn calendar, that’s why we are ready to start later and finish later.
— The first season was stopped in March when the competition was in full swing. How can you characterize these 4 months for the Baltic Futsal League?
— I can describe not only 4 months, but the entire period up to the present day. We have been constantly moving forward since the creation of the BFL. After the real futsal has been closed, we were the first in the world to hold virtual futsal tournaments — we invented and organized an eSports league, which has a great future ahead. As a new and more advanced version of the FIFA VOLTA-21 simulator is released, we are looking forward to the European level of our tournaments.
— Cyberfutsal is a separate topic for discussion. For now I would like to hear the prevailing opinion about real futsal regarding the work of the BFL.
— The assessment is very simple: time has shown that the players wish to play in our League, and the audience wishes to watch them. How it could be better? Moreover, the audience of the entire Baltic Futsal Community is growing. We are satisfied. I believe the League is working quite professionally. Of course, there is always a room for improvement, something to add and more goals to achieve, so the BFL organizing committee is already working on the implementation of innovations.
— What needs to be improved in the interaction between the League and the clubs for the second season of the BFL?
— Clubs are obligatory participants in the process of creating a product that is able to spark interest amongst viewers, partners and moreover among the athletes. The participants of the first season have already accepted this idea. Now it is necessary to move on and improve the work, for example, by raising the press services of each club. More information means more attention. Everyone will benefit from this. And the management board of the League even this day has a clear view of the future directions for the growth of both the sport and organizational components, because the clubs are already expressing interest in development. All together we are a great force that will give a boost to the development of the sport in the Nordic countries.
— What is the position of the heads of the clubs regarding the current situation around the discussion of the dates for the BFL matches?
— As for discussing the calendar for the 2020/21 season, the main thing I found out is that everyone positively assessed each other’s desire to overcome organizational difficulties and expressed their readiness to follow the regulations that the League developed for the 2020/21 season. Moreover, the heads of the clubs are ready to take over part of the negotiation process with their federations concerning the coordination of their own uniform game load, taking into account the BFL calendar. And believe me, this is worth a lot.
PR Director of Baltic Futsal Marketing