Fifa will push for futsal to become an Olympic sport, its president Sepp Blatter said yesterday.
"I would like to say a big thanks to Thailand. It is known as the land of smiles, and its hospitality is exceptional. The international Fifa family has been happy to be here for the last three weeks," Blatter told a press conference on the final day of the 2012 Futsal World Cup.
"I would also pass on my thanks to Suwat Liptapanlop and his local organising team _ they had a big challenge and managed it well."
On the possible inclusion of futsal at the Olympics, Blatter said: "We already tried to bring in beach soccer to the Olympics, as we could use the same stadia they are using for beach volleyball.
"In football, we already have a privileged position, with 28 teams _ 12 women's and 16 men's _ participating in two tournaments at the Olympics.
"The demand is increasing, and futsal is one of the disciplines we are trying to get in. But for the time being, we are on the waiting list."
Thailand 2012 was the first World Cup that featured 24 teams and Blatter said Fifa would continue with the format.
"Futsal is played everywhere in the world. Because there isn't much space available in some countries to play outdoor football so there is a need to play indoors," he said.
"I even remember in my childhood days that we would play futsal during the winter in Switzerland. It's important that futsal leagues and tournaments are organised to develop futsal further. We should start developing futsal at national and confederation levels. This would be a first step in the development of futsal."
Suwat, chairman of the Local Organising Committee, said: "It was a real high honour for us to host this Fifa Futsal World Cup.
"It has encouraged the development in Thailand, created a positive image of the country and brought happiness to the Thai people. We have learned our lessons from this competition and want to organise bigger events in the future."
Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand, said football could help overcome problems in southern Thailand.
"I would like to thank the Fifa president for bringing a 'Football for Hope' initiative to a politically disturbed area in southern Thailand [Pattani, Yala, Narathiwas and Songkhla]," said Worawi, who is also a Fifa executive member. "So that football can help to overcome the problems in this region and connect from the youth to the senior levels. It's a very good sign for Thailand."
The 2012 Futsal World Cup was marred by Thailand's failure to complete construction of the Bangkok Futsal Arena in time. The stadium in Nong Chok district was slated to be the main venue which was meant to host matches from the first round.
However, construction delays forced Fifa to change the tournament schedule and allowed the arena to host games from the quarter-finals.
But after construction of the stadium missed several deadlines, Fifa decided not to allow the use of the stadium for the tournament.