FIFA to financially support the construction of a Futsal court
WORLD football governing body – FIFA has given its blessing for the approval to financially support the construction of a new Futsal court in the country.
This means the Kurukuru team and any organised Futsal leagues and competition in the country will now have its own home.
The approval was confirmed by FIFA’s Acting Secretary General Markus Kattner in a letter dated 23rd March addressed to Neil N Poloso, Chief Executive Officer, Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
In the letter Kattner said, through the FIFA development program and under the framework of the FIFA Challenger Programan approval of financial support for the construction of a futsal court was given.
“At its meeting on 15th March 2016, the FIFA Development Committee discussed proposals of countries eligible for a project under the framework of the FIFA Challenger Program.
“Based on our long-lasting commitment to the universality of football and the necessary solidarity within the world football family, we are pleased to inform you that your project proposal has been approved and grant to your association funding for the construction of a futsal court in Panatina, Honiara,” the letter stated.
Kattner told Poloso that all useful information relating to the next steps of this project will be sent to him in the near future.
“We are convinced that you will do your utmost to achieve this project and thank you in advance for all your efforts,” the Acting Secretary General said in the letter.
Lyn Shirley FIFA Assistant Development Officer – Oceania Development Division based in Auckland, New Zealand said, this is certainly great news and they will be in contact with Poloso shortly to define the next steps for the preparation of the project.
The SIFF CEO yesterday said, this is certainly a great news for SIFF, more especially for the many Futsal players and supporters in Solomon Islands.
“Finally, after many years, the famous Kurukuru will have a home to train and develop the game of Futsal in Solomon Islands when this facility is built and completed.”
He also thanked FIFA Development office in Auckland for the support towards the completion of the proposal.
“May I take this opportunity to thank the FIFA DO office in Auckland for the great assistance to SIFF with information to ensure the project proposal is completed and forwarded to FIFA by the due date.
“Additionally, I also wish to thank and acknowledge the support of the OFC President and general secretary in ensuring this project proposal received all the support and approval of the FIFA Development committee members.
“Thank you all again for your support to SIFF.”
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in February following the win by Kurukuru to claim the Oceania Futsal Championship has pledged the Government’s commitment to build a proper facility for Futsal development in the country.
Sogavare said it is his Government’s desire to build proper sporting facilities including for Futsal as the country intends to host the Pacific Games in 2023.
He said the Government will partner with the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) to identify a suitable location for the Futsal complex.
“Futsal is a sport that takes us to the world stage and my Government is committed to ensure that a proper facility for Futsal is established,” the Prime Minister said.
This is the fifth straight Oceania title that the Kurukuru had won.
The team will represent Oceania in this year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia in September.
A number of Futsal supporters who have been made aware of the news said, this is one of the best news ever and will certainly boost the boys in their preparation for their world cup campaign.
At the moment, the squad is using the Maranatha centre in East Honiara to conduct their daily training runs.
On Wednesday one of their major sponsors Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) has also sealed a deal with the team worth $2million for the next two years.
This financial support from SIPA will certainly push the development of Futsal in the country through organised leagues in the coming years.
A fan said, once the court is completed it would be an added bonus for this sport and Solomon Islands will continue to produce top futsal players in the region.
By MOFFAT MAMU