Ivartito has been named the new mascot of the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup ©FIFA

A dancing stork called Ivartito has been unveiled as the official mascot for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The tournament had been due to take place this year before being postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the launch of the mascot, Ivartito was shown dancing with the choreography coming from a local dance studio.

He was present in the three host cities of Vilnius, Klaipeda and Kaunas, before making stops at the Gediminas Castle which overlooks the capital, a Baltic Sea beach and Nemunas Island.

Ivartito, whose name derives from the Lithuanian word for goal, has been described as "bringing openness and passion to everything he does".

"Ivartis" is also a nod to the fast-paced, high-scoring nature of futsal, it is claimed.

Since 1973, the stork has been the national bird of Lithuania and is viewed as a symbol of the country's ecological diversity and natural beauty.

"Official mascots are special assets that create an emotional connection with our audience," said FIFA director of marketing Jean-François Pathy.

"Ivartito's youthful exuberance makes him an ideal ambassador for this event, encouraging everyone he meets to share his joy and passion for futsal.

"Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced and skilful sport that can be played and enjoyed by all; we hope this mascot will encourage Lithuanian fans of all ages to join us pitch side this time next year."

Edgaras Stankevicius, the general secretary of the Lithuanian Football Federation, also praised the mascot, calling it "good news" during the pandemic and after the postponement of the tournament. 

"As you can see, the postponement of the event to 2021 does not mean that work has stopped," he said.

"Personally, I like the mascot a lot. 

"Ivartito has come to Lithuania with his special dance, which we hope everyone will try."

Next year's Futsal World Cup is scheduled to take place from September 12 to October 3.

Argentina are the world champions after they beat Russia 5-4 in the 2016 final in Colombia.