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 (Thursday in Manila) that Cuban has purchased a principal ownership stake in the five-a-side football competition. Cuban, whose holdings also include the Landmark Theatres chain and Magnolia Pictures plus the cable TV network AXS, hopes to launch play in 2017. 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.