Dear Editor – Kindly please allow me to comment about soccer in this soccer-mad country. I am a soccer fan. Like many soccer fans in Solo, I have just recovered from the excitement of watching the recent World Cup.
But as a proud Solomon Islander, I wonder what the soccer bosses in Solo are planning to do to put our country back on the soccer map.
Lately SIFF has gone so quiet like a kokosu crawling back into its own hole. For a sport that names its teams with names such as “Bonito”, “Mamula” and “Katukatu” it appears as if SIFF has been fishing all night but catching nothing.
It was sad to read recently that our Futsal team will not feature in the Oceania Championship this year because SIFF is in a state of disarray.
I wonder when the SIFF Normalisation Committee will make things normal again for Solo soccer. It seems while SIFF is wondering in the wilderness surviving on crumbs, other countries like Tahiti and Fiji are thriving on the FIFA goodness.
Previously some of our top soccer administrators seldom speak of or believe in the rhetoric that Solomon Islands is the “Brazil of the Pacific.” It appears that the Normalisation Committee might have been deluded to believe this nonsense too.
Whenever I drive past the Lawson Tama stadium, I often glance to see a large billboard showing the image of Brazilian star Neymar beside a little Solo kid “dreaming”. Often I would ask “why Neymar?”
Anybody who has watched the recent World Cup would have seen the nightmare Brazil suffered. They were useless. Although they dreamt of glory, they ended up with tears of agony. Their own people ridiculed them.
My simple message to SIFF is: Stop dreaming. Wake up. We are not the Brazil of the Pacific. Brazil is not the only country in the world that plays good soccer. Neymar hasn’t proven himself.
Be open to learn useful lessons from other countries to boost our soccer development. Germany, Holland and Argentina could teach us a few lessons. English soccer is out of date.
Wake up SIFF. Simplify our national uniform. Our national players need lessons in psychology. They must be taught that they are not the Brazil of the Pacific.
Change their uniform into colours different from Brazil so that they do not have to feel the pressure to emulate the real Selasao.
Finally, Solo is a soccer country. It is nearly 40 years since we became an independent nation. It is time for us to leave the soccer wilderness and enter the soccer promise land. We will also need honest leaders in the process, not self-serving pretenders!
Wake up SIFF and stop dreaming.
Kark Heinz Sumaka