Mavericks owner Cuban buys into US Futsal League

 04 Feb 2016 - 8:33

Mavericks owner Cuban buys into US Futsal League

New York: Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and an investor on the US television show "Shark Tank," is backing a new American sports venture, the Professional Futsal League (PFL).

The fledgling league announced Wednesday that Cuban has purchased a principal ownership stake in the five-a-side football competition.

"I couldn't be more excited about partnering with and investing in the PFL," Cuban said in a statement. "Futsal is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and it's time to make it even bigger in the US market.

"We are ready to introduce the best global brands and the world's best players to our growing fan base and I'm thrilled to be part of the PFL."

Cuban, whose holdings also include the Landmark Theatres chain and Magnolia Pictures plus the cable TV network AXS, hopes to launch play in 2017.

The league's co-owner is Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations.

While futsal has made little US impact, an indoor version of football, arena soccer, is played using artificial turf inside ice hockey boards. The Major Arena Soccer League has 20 teams, three of them based in Mexico.