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South Africa - July 22, 2023 21:00Pirates Fives take crown at futsal eventSouth African Futsal league overReport and photo courtesy: The Witness




The overall winners were Orlando Pirates Fives after they outplayed Cape Town side Mustangs in the final to win 3-2.

The recent South African Indoor Football Association’s (Saifa) National Championships held in Westville was an epic event. The well-attended tournament had the spectators on the edge of their seats from the outset.

The Saifa National Futsal championships brought together the top six teams to battle it out for the SA title. These were Belchester, GQ Elephants, Maritzburg Hotspurs, Mustangs, Orlando Pirates Fives and Soweto Fives.

The overall winners were Orlando Pirates Fives after they outplayed Cape Town side Mustangs in the final to win 3-2. The final also attracted a lot of interest from the local indoor soccer (futsal) followers and clubs as Pietermaritzburg-born star goalkeeper Kylen Pillay was part of Pirates Fives and also in the starting line-up.

Pillay officially received his winner’s medal during the awards ceremony, but was not allowed to play because of “late registrations rules”, which he was made aware of two days before the event.
Pillay is a former Scottsville Primary School and Maritzburg College pupil.

Before moving to Johannesburg to join Pirates Fives, he played for Maritzburg United Colts, UKZN, Young Natalians and Maritzburg Hotsputs. Some of the household names that coached Pillay include the likes of Sam Pillay (his dad), Daniel Haswell, Ernst Middendorp (Maritzburg United Colts), Ress Chetty, Indrasen Pillay (Rebel Spurs), Paul Chetty (Maritzburg Hotspurs) and Gregory Nair (Young Natalians).

In 2020 he also received a national call up to represent South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations.
On Friday Pillay told The Witness that although he did not play during the finals in Durban last Saturday, he is not bitter, adding that he was just glad to have been part of the winning side.

“Just to think that I was the only one originally from KwaZulu-Natal, from Pietermaritzburg to be precise, was so exciting and I felt blessed. The event also was historical; the standard was just pure class and the event was well organised … just out of this world.”

Pillay said his main aim is to become a regular in his team and in the national. “It is a dream of any player to be in the national team and officially represent the country. This type of soccer is very popular and growing very fast around the world,” he added.

The Pietermaritzburg-based and long-serving Safa executive Poobie Govindasamy, who is also the Saifa president, told The Witness that indoor soccer (futsal) was popular across the globe and it was interesting to see the sport getting played all over South Africa.

Govindasamy praised the standard, committement, skills and dedication displayed by all the affiliates.
“Well done to Orlando Pirates as overall winners, but all the participants were excellent and it was a very difficult tight competition,” said Govindasamy.




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