Vanuatu finished the OFC Futsal Nations Cup in the 6th place. This may not be a result to be celebrated but this tournament will be always remembered with some good memories by the fans: it was the last international competition played by Benny Hungai.
Hungai is greatest ni-van futsal player of all time. He is also the player with most caps (35 official matches) and the all time topscorer of Vanuatu National Futsal Team with 22 official goals scored in eleven years defending the Gideons. The team’s captain ends his brilliant career at international level with no regrets.
Despite his retirement from National Team, he keeps on playing at club level for Huka Futsal Club. He has been playing futsal for almost twenty years. He first played for Era United Futsal Club back in 2002 and he was always involved with futsal or football since then.
With so many experience in futsal, Hungai told Oceania Football Center that the level of futsal in Oceania is increasing year by year. The first edition of OFC Futsal Champions League is expected to be held in New Zealand in December. When asked about Vanuatu Futsal League in comparison to other national leagues in Oceania he stated “The leagues in New Zealand, Tahiti and Solomon Islands are more competitive than Vanuatu’s. Court facilities are the main cause for this lack of competitiveness”. Hungai’s club Huka FC was the Vanuatu National Futsal Super League runner-up so the Vanuatu’s spot in OFC Futsal Champions League will be filled by D’York Street – the National League winners.
Most of futsal teams in Vanuatu train in grass fields because there is no futsal courts available for training. The difference of the floor obviously makes a big difference in the style of a futsal match and it harms the game’s quality. It is a clear obstacle for the sports’ development in the country “we need more futsal courts, more competition, more regional exposure”, said Hungai.
He retires from Vanuatu National Futsal Team but he leaves a huge legacy for the next generations in his country. Hungai will never be forgotten by ni-van people. He is a true legend of Oceanian Futsal!