Futsal standard improves, grows in popularity

2016-02-24 06:00

DESPITE that KwaZulu-Natal regional teams being nowhere near winning the recent South African Indoor Football Association (Saifa) - known as futsal - inter- provincial championships in Soweto, the game is growing and getting popular.

Saifa’s secretary from Pietermaritzburg’s headquarters, Ebby Hoosen, said the game in local circles is growing and gaining in popularity and failing to win the Johannesburg tournament last week does not mean a crisis.

“We believe we have improved tremendously in this game and so has other provinces. Futsal is growing not only in KZN, but throughout the country,” said Hoosen.

Hoosen said it must be remembered that KZN was the national champions in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, but this time suffered a lot of injuries and lacked depth.

“Unfortunately, our players are not professional and most were not allowed to take day offs from work.”

KZN Futsal officials believe the province was pitted against great opponents Gauteng, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

Hossen feels the only reason that is likely to disturb or hinder the game in growing is a lack of proper futsal facilities in Pietermaritzburg and KZN.

“Although the main challenges are facilities, I am glad that futsal is now being developed in more areas such as Tongaat, KwaMashu, Umlazi, Pietermaritzburg, Durban Central, Vryheid, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Port Shepstone and Margate.”

Saifa confirmed that KZN has 18 out of 47 players who have been selected for the national futsal training camp. The other 29 players are from six provinces.

Last weekend’s new SA champs were Gauteng, runners-up were Limpopo.

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