Boriss Shipunov: “Estonian Football Union is stealing our time”

Here’s the fourth part of the interview of Boriss Shipunov in the Balabol podcast. It’s dedicated to the complicated communication with Estonian Football Union. You can read previous part’s here, here and here

Estonia needs a youth championship. Coaches, the championship structure, they haven’t done it in 15 years?
They did it in the format of a cup a year ago. They launched one stage with some abstract rules. They played with football balls, there were five players in the field for some reason, we were told this would be more interesting. These things have nothing to do with a futsal. Teams without futsal coaches play, for some reason, not four, but five players, with a football ball that bounced on the parquet all the time. And they tell us: this is a futsal, we’re going to try it now, and then we’re going to see how it goes. What’s going to happen? It’s all coming from the UEFA, it gives them some direction. The Football Union stresses: it’s the task from the UEFA. Okay, let’s talk about European Championship U-19. Three years before the first U-19 championship we spoke at one of the commissions: will we participate? It’s a complicated question, we’ll get together, we’ll deepen, we’ll expand, and years passed like this. Latvia got the first U-19 championship as a host, our nearest neighbors Latvia and Lithuania have put up teams, someone was eliminated in the preliminary round, Latvia as a hosts was included in the main tournament. We didn’t even have a team. The second championship. It wasn’t even on the agenda. The head of one of the clubs raised this topic last summer: what about Euro U-19, the second championship will be held soon, the registration is open. We’re in? They were catatonic. And then here comes the classic thing: Do we even have money for it? We don’t know, you’re a Federation. If there’s a tournament, why aren’t we in it?

I think there’s a bigger question here. I’m just summing it all up now. Point 1 and point 2 go together. I don’t know if they’re doing it or not, but at least you and me are just discussing it right now. During this conversation, I started to understand that there’s no futsal structure at all. And that’s so sad.
I can’t say in another way: it’s stealing. The Football Union is stealing our years. The biggest asset we all have is time, but when we’re told for 3-4-5 years that we’re going to do coaching courses, we’re going to have a pyramid, and it’s going to be great. But it’s not happening, and they’re stealing our time. Guys, you’re stealing our time, that’s the most important thing. As soon as you start talking about it, they say: do you want to lead? I don’t want to be in charge, you’re in charge. Someone tried to ask a question about money. The answer is, there’s no money. Well, let’s figure out where it is. The Federation answers: do you want money? We don’t want it, just give us an opportunity to develop.


Why isn’t anyone talking about it?
I can’t speak for anyone else. I’m just tired, after the recent events I experienced two or three weeks ago. I realized it was a point of no return, and there’s no point in trying to negotiate. They say: write. I write. I asked them to send me a development program for futsal in Estonia. I have never seen it, nobody has never seen it. On 17 September 2020, we were informed that a multi-year development program of the Estonian futsal has been developed. As well as anyone I understand that there is a document where some points should be: today we will do it, tomorrow we will do this, and the day after tomorrow we will come here. Maybe I understand something wrong. I asked the question: where it is? But the head of our Federation told me to go away. Okay, I made a written request. Silence. Okay, I gave it to the lawyer, and he sent it. They said: you don’t understand, we’re cool, we understand what you’re going through, but we’re good. Guys, we ask you one thing, but you answer another. Why? Just send it. They told us the program is in the heads. “We made a deal between ourselves, and we’ll let you know soon”.

I’m just wondering why a commissioner can’t get a program for his own sport. It’s certainly a question for the Football Union.
I stress that it’s not an emotional statement. Everything we are talking about is documented. Because they can say I’m doing it because of resentment or something.