Frequently Asked Questions



What is Minifootball?  

Minifootball is the European term used to describe all forms of adult small sided soccer which, in Ireland, consists principally of 5 or 6 a side leagues. In Ireland the term “Minifootball” has traditionally meant junior soccer but it is likely that in the coming years the term “Minifootball” will increasingly be used to describe all forms of adult small sided soccer.

Who are the IMA?  

The Irish Minifootball Association (The IMA) brings various Irish leagues together into one group to act as the Governing Body for all minifootball in Ireland. Irish Minifootball is the sole governing body for minifootball in Ireland and is authorised as such by the European Minifootball Federation (EMF) under their Statute. The IMA sits on the general assembly of the EMF.

Who are the EMF?  

The EMF is the European Governing Body for minifootball in Europe and currently has over 20 countries as members. The EMF organises international competitions including the European Minifootball Championships which are held annually in a member country.

What about the FAI?  

Traditionally the FAI has represented all forms of soccer in Ireland. However, the FAI’s primary focus is on 11 a-side soccer and not minifootball or small sided soccer. In May 2012 the European Commission in Brussels recognised minifootball as a separate sport apart from 11 a side soccer which therefore required a Governing Body for each member country and a European Governing Body. This effectively meant that minifootball in Ireland required a Governing Body which is entirely distinct from - and independent of - the FAI.

Affiliation-What does it mean?  

It Is not currently a requirement that any person, corporate body or other organisation that organises competitive Minifootball leagues in Ireland should affiliate to the IMA. However, as with affiliation to 11-a-side soccer, affiliation to IMA can provide substantial benefits.

What are the main benefits of affiliation?  

Firstly, your organisation has the benefit of knowing that it is affiliated to the correct governing body for the sport you organise. More importantly, we ourselves are licensed by the European governing body for minifootball. This licence means that any future sponsorship deals which either the governing body or ourselves are involved in will give you the chance to benefit, either with equipment, assistance or financial help. We know, for instance, that Adidas, Pepsi and Nike have already shown an interest in obtaining some sort of sponsorship arrangement with the European Governing Body. This can only benefit you as an organiser. Being affiliated to us means also that your organisation has the opportunity of increased exposure both on the national and international stage, should you so wish. This can help you in attracting more teams to play in your leagues.

We know that attracting referees is one of the hardest things that you, as an organiser, has to do each week. That is why we are offering a service of assistance in recruiting referees across the country (and direct assistance with a database for gold members). You know that if you are struggling to find a referee then you are not alone because we are here to help you where we can.

For Silver and Gold members you have access to use our free fully automated discipline system helping you to collect your money more easily. There is no paperwork involved whatsoever in the collection of these fines and your referees are given a unique password which they use to log a fine with us. The funds from those fines are then sent directly into your bank account automatically. You do nothing apart from receive the fines.

You can promote the fact that some of your players could represent Ireland in the following years’ European Championships. We are licensed providers by the EMF for the Irish minifootball team, which gives your players the opportunity to play on the international stage. This is a benefit available exclusively only to our members.

What does it cost to affiliate to the IMA?   

Unlike the FAI, the IMA accepts affiliation from any bonafide organiser of
minifootball Leagues in Ireland completely free of charge. We receive external funds to give
benefits to our members without any charge. Our statutory aims are to ensure that minifootball in Ireland is properly regulated and encouraged in all forms. Including ethnic, disabled and minority groups.


I affiliate to the FAI why should I affiliate to the IMA?  

You don’t have to but it is likely that in the coming years, now Brussels has recognised minifootball as a separate sport, different countries FAI’s will become less and less involved, and will receive less funding from Europe to develop minifootball. This funding is more likely to be channelled through Governing Bodies’ such as ourselves. It would be useful therefore for organisers in Ireland to affiliate to the Governing Body which best represents their particular sport. Remember 11 a-side soccer and 5 or 6 a-side soccer are now officially different sports.

Can I affiliate to both the FAI and the IMA?  

Yes. There is nothing to stop you affiliating to as many Governing Bodies as you wish, although the EMF recommends that you affiliate to the IMA as the correct Governing Body for minifootball.