Table Football Will Be Olympic Sport One Day, Predicts Association President
Enlarge image An serious competitor at the German Open Table Soccer or Foosball Tournament in 2011. (© picture alliance / dpa) Table football, also variously known as table soccer or foosball, is getting more and more popular - but it is still not officially recognized as a sport in Germany. “Of course, table football will one day be an Olympic sport, though I cannot say exactly when,” Klaus Gottesleben, president of the German Table Football Association (DTFB) told the news agency dapd in an interview in Hamburg a few days before the end of the 2012 Olympics. Official sport or not, table football is played worldwide.
As game equipment varies considerably across countries, the umbrella organization International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) has officially recognized five types of foosball tables. These models were used at the World Cup in France last year.
“This works out perfectly - a maximum compatibility is being established, and that could be used for the Olympics,” said Gottesleben, who is also vice-president of the ITSF. The choice of foosball Olympians could also be taken from the World Cup lineup. There, Germany selects three players in each category – the single player who came out first in the national rankings and the pair to win the German championships.
Gottesleben imagines that the Olympic foosball disciplines would be singles and doubles for women, men, juniors and seniors, as well as a Nations Cup.
“In that, we orient ourselves by similar sports like tennis or table tennis. We don’t need to invent anything new and elaborate, as other sports have already been doing it for 50 years,” Gottesleben said. He added that there will need to be preliminary rounds, so that the actual tournament begins with the knock-out round, like in tennis.
“I am very certain that the Germans can fetch a gold meda,l” the international federation president said. Germany has already been leading the world rankings for years.