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HCC, SIFF reach deal for Lawson Tama

The new lease agreement takes over from the former arrangement which saw SIFF lease through the National Sports Council (NSC) which was ended this year by the parties involved. Under that arrangement, SIFF paid SBD$40 000.00 per annum for usage of Lawson Tama to the NSC and was largely responsible for enabling the upgrade of the facilities by FIFA under the Goal I project in 2000.
Under the new agreement Lawson Tama will be made available to SIFF at SBD$120, 000.00 per annum payable directly to the HCC. Key to the new agreement is the establishment of a direct lease arrangement between SIFF and HCC doing away altogether with the third party. The term of the lease has also been increased to thirty years.
SIFF president, William Lai, thanked the Lord Mayor, Alfrence Fatai, for his leadership and commitment to football for working the agreement through his council.
“For such a large deal to be accomplished, there has to be strong and visionary leadership and I wish to offer, on behalf of the football community, my sincere appreciation to his excellence, Alfrence Fatai, and his council for their decision to support football,” Lai says.
“Our responsibility is to work hard to ensure that Lawson Tama is well looked after and more importantly used and enjoyed by the footballers and the people of Solomon Islands. We will look for resources in partnership with FIFA, OFC, our government and others to ensure that the venue is also improved for the betterment of football and for our citizens to enjoy the venue in safety and comfort,” adds Lai.
Honiara: international sporting hub
For HCC, the lease agreement brings to focus a desire to reinvent Honiara as a sporting hub in the region. Hence, signing the new lease deal is also about bringing on board partnerships that will drive the effort in this direction.
HCC deputy major, Eddie Ngava, says: “Even now we are looking to bid for the Pacific Games in 2023 but such dreams cannot be realised if HCC does not establish partnerships to be ready for such international events. In this regards, SIFF has the capacity to lead this drive and HCC is so proud that it has established the partnership and all for the good of its citizens.”
Lai adds that it is a goal of the new SIFF executive for football to pave the way forward in recreating Honiara as an international venue for sports.
“I think we must take the steps necessary for our communities to build the facilities we require to excel internationally. This can be done with partnerships with aid donors and stakeholders within the framework of football. Someone has to start to drive this and football wants to lead the way starting with Lawson Tama,” Lai says.
This starts with plans to upgrade Lawson Tama into an internationally attractive sports venue and rebranding it as the new home of football in Solomon Islands with a strong line-up of national and international matches every year.
SIFF also plans to establish and utilise a commercial arm to maximise the revenue for football from its facilities including engaging in business operations. The lease agreement with HCC for Lawson Tama, it appears is just the first step.
The new deal while expected to run til 2045 and will be reviewed every five years. The deal is timely since Solomon Islands is putting together a bid

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