The FIFA Goal Project in Solomon Islands
The FIFA Goal Project is the most important sports facility development program in Solomon Islands. Its history dates back to the late 1990s when the then Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) leadership applied for funding to upgrade the country’s major football field Lawson Tama in Honiara the Solomon Islands capital.
Since Lawson Tama which was funded by FIFA Goal I Project Solomon Islands has come a long way. Today the FIFA Goal Project is extending its reach beyond the capital and into the provinces.
FIFA Goal I Project – Lawson Tama Stadium
FIFA Goal I Project saw Solomon Islands receive its first world standard football playing pitch in 2001. Solomon Islands was among the first ever 11 recipients of the FIFA Goal Programme. Lawson Tama was actually renovated and completed with additions including a high tech turf watering system.
Construction work at Lawson Tama was conducted right in the middle of civil war that occurred in the Solomon Islands from 1999 – 2003. It was the only major development program in Solomon Islands at that time. The contractor developing the project was New Zealand based Vuksich and Borich Ltd.
Lawson Tama was completed in 2001 and none other than Sir Bobby Charlton attended the opening ceremony on August 21 where he performed the ceremonial kick off to usher in a new era for football in the country.
FIFA Goal II Project – SIFF Academy
One of the dreams of Oceania was to have its very own football academy and when the OFC Academy was completed in New Zealand the next step was to bring similar facilities to the member countries.
Solomon Islands was one of the first beneficiaries and FIFA Goal II Project funded the construction of what is named the Allan Boso Complex, after a former President of the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
The Allan Boso Complex was built in less than one year and took football development in Solomon Islands to a whole new level. After its completion the national federation was able to hold coaching and refereeing courses locally and national teams now had a free hostel for international tournament camps. Included in the Allan Boso Complex is an office and administration wing, an education centre, kitchen and dining facilities as well as a dormitory wing that houses up to 32 people with full bathroom and laundry facilities.
Currently, the Allan Boso Complex is being further improved with additional fixtures like fencing to separate the playing area from the administration and dormitory area.
FIFA Goal III Project – Aligegeo Football Field and JFK Stadium Upgrade
After the success implementation of the first 2 FIFA Goal projects in Honiara, football facility development was extended to 2 provinces with the FIFA Goal III Project.
FIFA Goal III Project was used to fund the upgrade 2 provincial football pitches: one at Aligegeo in the Malaita Province and the other in Gizo in the Western Province. The Aligegeo Stadium Project is complete and has already been used to host matches. The football competition for the Solomon Games in June 2010 was staged at Aligegeo.
In the Western Province, work is underway on improving the John F. Kennedy Stadium. Work on the project began on Friday 18th June, 2010. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
Once completed both Aligegeo and JFK Stadium will very likely host international matches.