By CARLOS ARUAFU
A former national mid-fielder and founder of the West Honiara Royals Kids Football Academy, Joel Moffat Konofilia has turned down Solomon Islands Football Federation’s (SIFF) request to have talks instead opted for a protest against the SIFF president.
A protest against the president of SIFF, William Lai is being organized for 2pm at the SIFF Academy today.
Konofilia said the SIFF president must step down by 10am today or the protest will continue as planned.
Lai requested that a dialogue should be arranged between Konofilia and SIFF for clarification on the reasons for the protest.
Konofilia who has been very vocal against the SIFF regime declined to have talks saying it is too late.
He said it is time to ask the SIFF the answers to a lot of public questions that they have been too quiet to respond to.
“It’s too late now, I’ve been asking for months now, they have been laughing and ignoring me, so it’s too late.
“I’ve already called for a protest on the public so I can't turn back now.
“We’ll be there at 2pm tomorrow (today) and be prepared to be answerable to the public.
“Tomorrow (today) there will be a peaceful protest at the SIFF academy, lets come in numbers.
“Our kids and youths need us for their brighter future.
“This regime, especially their leader does not care about us, they are in SIF for different agendas,” he stated in one of his post on social media Facebook yesterday.
The motive of the protest is for Mr Lai to step down as SIFF president due to a number of reasons.
Konofilia added that if the responses are unsatisfactory then they will allow SIFF to continue governing but ensure that they work in partnership with their Vision 2030, a road map in preparing the country’s players for the future.
The second respond to unsatisfactory response from SIFF would be a call for the president to step down and allow someone they say with the right capacity to man SIFF as an interim executive until fresh elections are held next year.
Some of the cores reasons behind the protest as outlined by Konofilia are SIFF to reveal its national philosophy, why there are less football academies across the nation, why SIFF let Beach soccer to die out, the delay in building the futsal facility, no leagues for kids and youths, no plan to win the 2023 Pacific Games football competition, no development plan for U14-U16 kids, reveal SIFF’s plan for women’s football after a poor campaign in the recent Mini Games and SIFF to declare their plan to enter the senior men's world cup finals.
In response Mr Lai said he is not sure what Konofilia wants and that there are procedures to follow when dealing with such matter.
“I am not sure what he wants, but he should be more reasonable and with gratitude.
“He should come to SIFF office and talk to the CEO and Technical Director, I am also available.
“I am ready to meet and discuss to see what the real issues are.
“There are procedures to follow as SIFF is part of the global game.
“We are answerable to FIFA, OFC and our local Member Associations.
“The things he mentioned are in our plan.
“Of course, the plans come in circle of every four years.
“We can sit and talk about SIFF’s strategic plans.
“The plans are approved by SIFF congress; we are guided by the SIFF Statute.
“Our strategic plans have been approved by FIFA.
“SIFF has done better since we took over,” Lai said.
Konofilia turns down SIFF request
By CARLOS ARUAFU