The Solomon Islands National Beach Soccer Team, Bilikiki, is the group credited with truly taking Solomon Islands to the world scene in football when they qualified for the country’s first ever world cup berth in the FIFA 2006 Beach Soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Named after a sea bird known for its perculiar walking action the team is known to celebrate their victories with the Bilikiki dance.
Bilikiki has participated in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competition since it debuted in 2006. This is a total of four World Cup appearances. It continues to the be the powerhouse in Oceania fending off managing to disappoint challenges from it neighbors over the last years only for Tahiti to emerged as Oceania leading team in recent occasions.
In its first ever world cup match Bilikiki stunned Africa by beating their champions Cameron by 5 – 2. However, their most memorable victory was their 7 – 6 win over former finalists Uruguay in the 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai. The victory also saw the coming of age of 18 year old Robert Laua who netted a hat trick for Solomon Islands in his World Cup debut.
The star of the current national team is James Naka. He was ranked as the 5th best player in the 2006 Beach Soccer World Cup where he impressed with his acrobatic ability and powerful left foot. Naka is also the leading goal scorer in the team and most feared player in Oceania. In the last World Cup Naka was not able to perform up to expectations due to an injury in their opening match.
The current crop of players is already ageing and SIFF is currently working on developing new players. The first national beach soccer championship was organized in April, 2010, thus bringing to the fore a plethora of talented players from the provinces. This was followed in 2011 with another national championship which brought even more players in for consideration.
Beach soccer is more popular in the rural areas of Solomon Islands where festival type of competitions are held. The
success of the Solomon Games Beach Soccer competitions in 2016 indicates strong support for the discipline.
Bilikiki was called back for training in 2018, as the country’s national beach soccer side are preparing for the 2019 OFC Championship in Tahiti.
2006 OFC FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier – Winners
2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (Brazil)
2007 OFC FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifiers – Winners
2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (Brazil)
2008 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (France)
2009 OFC FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifiers – Winners
2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (Dubai)
2011 OFC FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier – Runnersup
2013 OFC FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier – Winners