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Plan for provincial leagues approved

The proposal was formulated and presented by SIFF general secretary, Eddie Ngava, after blessing from the SIFF executive committee in a meeting prior to the extra-ordinary congress seating which held on Tuesday 31st of January.
The focus in the plan was to strengthen the club concept throughout Solomon Islands by establishing football leagues in all provincial centres for clubs to participate in and develop their administrative foundations. This will encourage the club concept nationally which SIFF has been trying to promote through the national football league.
This basic idea will then be built upon through the addition of futsal and women’s leagues with teams coming from clubs that are already registered under the provincial leagues.
Finance for the provincial leagues was offered through the SIFF provincial development grant (PDG) currently available to provincial football associations (PFAs). Additional funding for local competitions would either come from SIFF arranged sponsorship or external funding from corporate or non-corporate organisations.
According to Ngava, the establishment of the provincial leagues will justify the need for infrastructure development and support an unprecedented growth in the game in Solomon Islands.
“With provincial leagues there will be a real need for fields and offices and this will help PFAs to attract support from business houses. The leagues will also provide a foundation for the development of elite players who will come through to the national soccer league or even go overseas to play,” Ngava said.
Ngava also outlined that the benefits will extend to referee development, coaching and overall strengthening of each PFA which in turn will result in further technical support and infrastructure support from SIFF and OFC.
The plan received widespread support from the congress and a fully detailed submission will be presented to the next congress which will take place in May.
Vice president of Makira Ulawa Football Association, Daniel Nahusu, said that this is the best news he has received since he started attending the SIFF congress.
“This is my second time to attend the SIFF congress but it is the first time for me to hear such good news which I believe will help football to grow in the provinces,” Nahusu said.
The challenge to establish leagues in provinces is something SIFF has been trying to do for a number of years. So far only Honiara Football Association (HFA) has been able to run leagues successfully on the back of corporate sponsorship due to its advantageous location in the capital. However, there is now a stronger push for competitions from the PFA’s themselves to establish and run long term leagues that will provide a pathway for players to the national soccer league.
Further good news for the PFAs came when SIFF president Martin Alufurai announced intentions to continue with supporting infrastructure development in provinces after the completion of projects in Auki (Malaita) and Gizo (Western Province) where 2 stadiums are undergoing FIFA Goal III funded upgrades.

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