THE Gauteng provincial qualifiers for the 2012 Kia Champ into the Arena five-a-side tournament were held at The Italian Sports Club, Bedfordview this weekend with the final three sides booking their place in the national play-offs.
The overall winners of the South African leg of the 2012 Kia Champ into the Arena competition will head off to the global finals in Warsaw, Poland, on June 27 June for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the victors.
First Team were crowned the Gauteng provincial winners with a 5-3 defeat of Black Ice in the decider on Sunday, bringing to a close a competition that had seen 32 sidesenter the field this past Saturday.
Both finalists advance to the national finals to be held at The Italian Sports Club, Bedfordview on June 10, along with Six Pack, who beat Inception in a penalty shoot-out in the third-place play-offs to also book their ticket for the weekend.
Kia Champ into the Arena ambassador Andre Arendse says the Gauteng finals lived up to the pre-tournament hype with some excellent football played.
“We saw some excellent five-a-side football in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal qualifiers, and we were not disappointed this weekend in Gauteng either. The standard was once again excellent and I cannot wait to see the national finals next weekend. Kia should be congratulated for providing this opportunity for these teams to showcase their talent,” Arendse says.
The trio of qualifiers from Gauteng joins Western Cape entrants Guess Who, Mamba Fives and Galacticos, and The Untouchables, Durban Classic and Leopards from KwaZulu-Natal, in the national finals on June 10, scheduled to also be held at the Italian Sports Club in Bedfordview.
This magnificent opportunity to represent Kia South Africa overseas will also see the winners take in the drama of the Euro 2012 competition that is being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
Participants must therefore be male and over the age of 18 and never have played in any professional indoor football league in the past. Players should also have all relevant documents that would allow them to travel to Poland for the global finals and should be free to travel from 25 – 30 June 2012.
The global finals of the Kia Champ into the Arena tournament will consist of 15 teams from around the world, and will be staged in Warsaw on 27 June 2012, with the team representing South Africa spending four days in the city, during which time they will also take in the first semi-final of Euro 2012 at the magnificent newly-built National Stadium on June 28.