BarcelonaFutsal has been around for a century, but it won’t be until 2023 that it becomes an officially recognized sport in Catalonia. At the moment, the associations that have promoted its officiality have managed to get five political groups to agree. And, with this pact, to be able to enter Parliament so that this indoor sport becomes a sport with all the laws. This Tuesday it was included in the parliamentary register and the forecast is that, before the summer, it will be definitively approved.
The process has been very fast, considering the political bureaucracy. The first meeting of the promoters of officialdom with the parties was on October 5, 2022 and with less than four months the Parliament’s register has been reached by the hand of ERC, Junts, the PSC, the commons and the CUP In fact, the driving associations explain, the parties themselves agreed to go in unison in this recognition to speed up the procedures and, above all, guarantee the success of the initiative. “If you go with something weak, no one will listen to you. But if you combine sport with Catalan culture and have it well documented, they will pay attention to you,” points out Enric Albaladejo, president of the Catalan Association of Futbol Botons, who was present at the time of registration. He was also accompanied by Albert Reguant, president of the Barcelona Football Buttons Association. They are, among others, the instigators who already thought of taking this proposal to Parliament in 2019, but had to stop it because of the pandemic. They also knocked on other doors that led them nowhere. In the end they hit the right key by presenting a report with a face and eyes on football buttons and, above all, the current good state of health, with the competitions that are organized annually (League, Cup and Champions League) and that have about 200 registered players.
Button football, a sport invented in Catalonia a century ago
The proposed resolution that has been registered includes, at the outset, the historical explanation about this game that was invented in the 1920s in that Catalonia that was a textile powerhouse, that had buttons to donate and to sell and in what scoundrel reduced a football field to a dining room table and turned the players into conventional buttons. A game that has had ups and downs, with moments of great popularity and others in which it was almost a matter of clandestineness. In the 90s it had a penultimate boost that it didn’t quite take. But now things are getting serious. “The future has started to be written now. Just before the registry, button football was a thing. Now it’s another one”, point out Albaladejo and Reguant, who say they have political complicity so that button football gets the promised recognition. “The Government has already started and we are waiting for the steps to follow”.
With the recognition, the Catalan federation can be officially created. They will also have a financial endowment that will allow them to “promote sport” and “professionalize the associations”. And finally, it will be communicated to the schools and the centers will be recommended to include it in the list of sports to practice. “We aspire to be recognized for having more visibility and, from here, to have more players. This will open many doors for us”, they point out, proud to see how the hard work is getting results.