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Brazil willing to assist Solomon Islands

SIFF general secretary, Eddie Ngava, said this afternoon that his office has received a faxed copy of this Brazil interest which was addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade.
“We received a fax from our consulate in Canberra last week that carried a copy of a letter from the Embassy of Brazil in Canberra detailing the offer of possible technical assistance which they are willing to support,” Ngava says.
The letter from the Brazilian Embassy said that it will meet the travel, insurance and allowances of the nominated coach for 60 days through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency. However, the letter requested assurance from the Solomon Islands government about meeting internal costs such as meals, accommodation and transportation. This letter of assurance from the Solomon Islands Government would be needed as soon as possible.
Upon returning from the FIFA congress in Zurich, the SIFF management has pursued this with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but has not been able to receive confirmation of whether the government has replied positively to the offer or not.
Ngava says that SIFF will continue to pursue a meeting with the government to discuss the details for the local costs for the Brazilian coach but already there are positive signals which he is hoping to build upon.
“The government has assisted football with the initial stages of this arrangement because it comes under the bilateral ties which the Solomon Islands shares with Brazil. I think making this a reality is both the goal of SIFF and the national government and SIFF looks forward for the assurance to come,” Ngava says.
The arrangement has its roots in a number of submissions made by SIFF to the government through the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2006 after discussions held by Collin Beck with representatives of the Brazilian government. SIFF requested the government back then to use its bilateral ties with Brazil to facilitate technical assistance from them. The matter was not revisited until further communication was made by the Minister for Planning, Hon. Snyder Rini, to the Brazilian Special Envoy in a recently held meeting. The result of Hon. Rini’s following up was the letter of offer which came through the Solomon Islands consular representative in Canberra, Beraki Jino.
SIFF has not revealed much detail about the role that is planned for the technical person from Brazil but it is expected to centre around the preparation and participation of the senior national team in the Pacific Games. Capacity building for the current national coaches is also another focus.
Earlier this year one of the requests came into fruition when the Austrian government supported a 1-month technical assistance program conducted by 2 coaches from the Austrian Football Association. The Austrian duo also worked with the national U20 team that participated in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) U20 Championship this year. The arrangement was similar to the one proposed by Brazilian government except that all local costs for the 2 coaches were met by SIFF.
Solomon Islands has had a number of international coaches over the years including names like Ian Lang in the 80s; George Cowie in the 90s; and Airton Andrioli more recently. However, the most remembered overseas coach to take the reins in the Solomon Islands was Allan Gillette who led the country to its first ever world cup playoff against Australia in 2005.

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