Sheffield lawyer Carl Jones has been selected as referee for the first of England’s Futsal friendly internationals against Poland this weekend.
Carl will referee Saturday’s game at the FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, and will be timekeeper for the second England v Poland clash the following day.
The 29-year-old lawyer at MD Law started refereeing just over 10 years ago while studying for his law degree at Cambridge University. He completed a Futsal conversion course in 2009, allowing him to take charge of the FIFA approved version of five-a-side football, and two years ago was promoted to the sport’s Select Group of referees in England.
Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and has grown hugely in the UK in recent years.
“For something I just fell into it has turned into a real passion and it’s great to see how much Futsal is growing in popularity and in the range of opportunities now out there for all ages,” said Carl from Gleadless.
“There are similarities to normal five-a-side – fouls are fouls for example – but it is a much faster game and more technically skilful. Things can change from attack to defence very quickly, so you have to be fairly fit, and as a referee you are making more decisions and your decision-making has to be quicker too.
“I really enjoy it and is something so completely different to what I do for work.”
This season Carl has been refereeing in the inaugural FA National Futsal Super League – which consists of 12 teams from across the country.
He has also officiated in The FA Futsal Cup and other competitions throughout the season but will be capping things off with his selection to referee the England V Poland friendly match this weekend.
Carl, who was born in Chesterfield and supports Chesterfield FC, added: “With the new Super League there is a really good Futsal family, both in terms of referees and the wider community of players, managers and FA staff.
“But, it’s great to have the chance to referee internationals, to be a part of the game at its highest level. International matches are played at a different tempo and have a completely different feel.
“I refereed my first home international last November against Wales and it is a very proud moment to walk out on the pitch on these occasions and to hear the national anthem.”
Carl has been a solicitor at Sheffield niche commercial practice MD Law since 2015. The Broomhall Road firm specializes in business recovery, insolvency, commercial litigation, dispute resolution, commercial work and debt recovery.