26 June 2019 – The 5thedition of the National Futsal League (NFL), hosted by the South African Indoor Football Association (SAIFA), is set to reach even greater heights in 2019.
The league which will be played on a festival basis is made possible by the partnership with the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust and the South African Football Association. As opposed to previous seasons it features six franchise teams from around the country.
“We are indeed grateful to SAFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust for the grant in the sum of R2m to run the league and a knockout competition. The grant is evident of SAFA’s commitment to the development and growth of Futsal in our country” said SAIFA President Poobalan Govindasamy.
“All six clubs in the league have shown tremendous desire over the past four seasons to improve and to win the league. We await in anticipation to see how this year’s competition unfolds,” SAIFA, Secretary General, Ebrahim Hossen said.
“The standard and level of play has increased significantly over the past seasons. Unlike previous seasons it will be very difficult to predict a league winner,” Hossen added.
While SAIFA is ready to host the league for a 5thyear in a row, it is important to mention that we have been administering the game of FUTSAL as far back as 2002.
SAIFA provides clubs with a grant of R3000 a month to assist them to hire training facilities and to transport their players to and from training.
“The manner in which teams use the grant is critical to the smooth running of the league. The facilities are costly to hire because in some cases they are owned privately and in other instances their hire charges are just exorbitant” said Jay Reddy the Treasurer of the association.
From 4thto 16thof July 2019 SAIFA will host both Egypt and Mozambique in a three nations Futsal Tournament in Johannesburg. The intention is to prepare our South African National Futsal team for the qualifying fixtures against Mauritius between 21stand 30thof October 2019.
It must be emphasised that it is not whether we beat Mauritius but when we do so, our National Futsal team will qualify to play in the AFCON Futsal tournament to be held in Morocco in January/February 2020. This tournament will see eight teams battle it out to qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup to be held in Lithuania from 12 September to 4 October 2020.
“Futsal is growing at an exhilarating pace and I have watched some of the league matches and can confirm that we have talented Futsal players in our country”, SAFA Acting CEO, Russel Paul said.
The first Futsal League Festival took place in Pietermaritzburg on the 24thand 25thMay 2019 at the YMCA Indoor Centre. Maritzburg Hotspurs Futsal Club top the league on goal difference, with Ethekwini City in second place. Both teams won both their matches over that weekend.
In the second league festival taking place at the Wits University Indoor Arena the following teams will do battle against each other:
|07||FRI||28-Jun||OBC Chicken||Cape Town Titans||JHB||16H30|
|08||28-Jun||Maritzburg Hotspurs||Ethekwini City||WITS||18H30|
|09||28-Jun||Tshwane City||Young Natalians||20H30|
|U11||SAT||29-Jun||1st Team||Jabez Academy||13H00|
|Ladies||29-Jun||PHM All Stars||Jabez Academy||14H00|
|Open||29-Jun||Wits Futsal||Vaal Blizzards||15H00|
|10||29-Jun||OBC Chicken||Maritzburg Hotspurs||16H30|
|11||29-Jun||Cape Town Titans||Young Natalians||18H30|
|12||29-Jun||Ethekwini City||Tshwane City||20H30|
On another but important note the president of SAIFA categorically stated that players and officials in rebel Futsal structures that have suddenly mushroomed in our country will not be allowed to play for any one of our teams whether in the regional leagues or in the National Futsal League. In addition they will not be eligible to play for the South African National Futsal team.
There can only be one SAFA, one CAF and one FIFA. Accordingly those opportunists and divisive individuals who want to create structures outside SAFA in relation to Futsal are not welcome in our association which is recognised by SAFA.