THE Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) and the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has finally signed the $2 million dollar pledge made by SIPA early last month to support Kurukuru’s preparation for the World Cup.
The FIFA Futsal World Cup kicks off in Colombia in September.
The signing took place at the SIPA Conference room on Tuesday and was witnessed by the SIFF CEO, Neil Poloso and SIPA’s Director Commercial, Glyn Joshua and Director Finance, George Rausi.
SIFF president, William Lai thanked SIPA for the support and highlighted it is the biggest sponsorship ever made to prepare a national team.
“Thank you SIPA for this sponsorship agreement which we just signed.
“SIFF is very grateful for this partnership.
“This is the biggest ever sponsorship project in terms of the preparations for a national team.
“I understand that SIPA reforms attract a lot of criticisms in political side of things.
“I think it’s important to note that this is a direct benefit from this reform.
“I’m sure that this is a support for the nation as a whole.
“This support is purely for the preparations for the Kurukuru team so that when we compete at the World Cup, we compete to our best, knowing that everything regarding preparations has been catered financially for,” he said.
Lai added the partnership will continue for the next two years.
He said Kurukuru will not just attend the World Cup and ends there, they will continue to prepare for other competitions as well as organizing ongoing futsal leagues.
SIPA CEO, Collin Yow thanked SIFF for the opportunity to be the sponsor for the Kurukuru team’s World Cup preparations.
“We are thankful and grateful for this opportunity.
“On behalf my Minister Honorable Jimmy Lusibaea, my Chairman Billy Titiulu the board of directors and directors.
“We are very excited to have the honour of being the sole sponsor for the Kurukuru team, thanks to the opportunity given to us by the SIFF president and his team.
“This is our first of many indigenous Solomon Islanders program.
“The management of Kurukuru will actually outline how they will use this financial support for their preparation.
“We are not here to say what the conditions are, SIPA has no expectation that Kurukuru must reach a certain level, it’s more a social reform for the indigenous people.
“We we are only here to do only one thing, provide the Kurukuru team the financial backing so that they can focus on what they do best,” he said.
Star Sports understand the financial support will also go towards overseas tours before the World Cup.
Lai revealed the Kurukuru will return to Australia to play the Australian national futsal team for friendly matches and will continue to Asia for some more friendly matches before going to the World Cup.
The financial support starts here in the country, it will be also used to cover the players’ salaries for those who are working, allowances and other needs to get the team focused.
By CARLOS ARUAFU