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FIFA to fund Solomon Islands’ first futsal pitch

The confirmation was received by SIFF yesterday in a letter from FIFA general secretary, Marcus Kattner. The letter stated that the application made under the FIFA Challenger Programme was considered and approved by the FIFA Development Committee
This is welcome news for the development of futsal in Solomon Islands which has been hampered over the years by the lack of an international standard futsal pitch. Different local organisations have constructed their ad hoc pitches but they do not comply with some of the basic requirements.
SIFF chief executive officer, Neil Poloso, sums up the feeling of joy upon the news in this statement after receiving the communication from FIFA.
“Finally after many years we will have a home for our national team and a place for our leagues and competitions to be run. I must thank FIFA for sharing our vision to drive futsal development in Solomon Islands starting with this pitch,” says Poloso.
Poloso also acknowledged the role of FIFA development office in Oceania and the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) president and general secretary for their support for futsal development in Solomon Islands.
“I wish to thank also the FIFA Development Office and the OFC president and general secretary for giving us the assistance we required to see this project reach this stage,” says Poloso.
For years the Solomon Islands national futsal team has been training in ad hoc pitches so the news was received with great appreciation from the team. After winning five regional titles and qualified for three FIFA world cups, the team now looks forward to preparing on the same level with their opponents in the region and outside.
“I cannot describe how happy I am to hear this news,” says captain, Elliot Ragomo. “We really look forward to the day when we can finally play in our very own court – our home. Really we cannot wait for that moment.”
The concept of building Solomon Islands’ futsal pitch was around in 2012 and groundwork was already started. However, work was suspended by FIFA following doubts about the reliability of the cost information supplied for the project.
The project was revitalised by the new SIFF president, William Lai, who made it a top priority for himself and his executive committee to build a futsal pitch within the first term of his presidency.
The opportunity was presented when FIFA announced that Solomon Islands was eligible to apply for the FIFA Challenger Programme and efforts were made to submit the application to FIFA.
The site for the futsal pitch has been identified as unused SIFF land just behind the current academy football field.

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