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Bangkok: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Nagoya Oceans for winning the AFC Futsal Club Championship title on Saturday when they beat NAFIT Al-Wasat 6-5 on penalties after both sides played out in a closely fought 4-4 draw at the Bangkok Arena in Thailand.

Shaikh Salman said: “I would like to congratulate Nagoya Oceans for their win and their consistent performances throughout the tournament. NAFIT Al-Wasat should also be congratulated for their determined efforts in this captivating final.

“With every successful team you will find a group of passionate people working tirelessly behind the scenes. My heartfelt congratulations go also to everyone in the delegation and the Japan Football Association.”

The AFC President went on to thank the local organisers: “From start to end, the AFC Futsal Club Championship Thailand 2016 has been an overwhelming success, setting new benchmarks on multiple fronts. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Thailand Local Organising Committee and the Football Association of Thailand for all their dedication and close attention to detail in delivering this world-class event.”

Saturday’s final concluded with a series of record breaking feats achieved at the Bangkok Arena. With more than 64,600 packing the venue, the AFC Futsal Club Championships Thailand 2016 has eclipsed the aggregate spectatorship of all the previous AFC Futsal Club Championships combined since the competition started in 2010. It is also the highest-ever aggregate attendance in AFC futsal competition history. The total spectatorship this year increased by a staggering 365% from the 2015 edition.

In addition, the record attendance for a single match was rewritten an astonishing three times – first in Chonburi Bluewave’s second group match against Nagoya Oceans, with the host side repeating the feat again in the quarter-final and semi-final, which was witness by a sell-out capacity of 11,050 fans.

The championship also had a big impact on social media, with the AFC’s Twitter account, reaching 912,974 impressions, a stunning 300% higher than the 2015 championship. The AFC’s Facebook account also marked a significant increase by almost 70% impressions from the previous edition. The championship also contributed extensively to the 1 million minutes of action viewed on the AFC Hub YouTube channel this month.

Another noteworthy statistic has been the competitiveness of the teams at this year’s championship. From all the teams in the group stages, only one failed to win a point, while three of the four eliminated teams in the Group Stages were still in contention to advance into the quarter-finals until the closing minutes of their final matches. The average goal per game also dropped to 5.2 from 7.15 goals in 2015, suggesting further a more evenly contested AFC Futsal Club Championship.

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