The Solomon Islands Government has thrown its backing into the construction of the first ever international standard futsal facility in the country with a commitment to jointly fund the project with the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
The announcement was made by the acting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands and Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Manasseh Maelanga this morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in front of football officials and the media.
Hon. Maelanga highlighted that futsal is a code that has brought Solomon Islanders much joy due to the success of the national futsal team, Kurukuru, and it is high time a court is built.
“Our national futsal team has been successful regionally and has been to the FIFA Futsal World Cup three times in succession so this court must be built for their training and competitions. The government is happy to support this project in partnership with SIFF and see this facility built,” says Maelanga.
President of SIFF, William Lai, says that his federation is pleased to partner with the government and thanked the current leadership for supporting the project.
“My federation is happy to work with the government in this project which will allow us to deliver more to the community in terms of futsal. With this court we can have more competitions, more development programmes and work hard for more success in the future,” Lai says.
Lai also acknowledged FIFA and President Gianni Infantini for giving Solomon Islands the required funding assistance to start the project. The funding comes under the newly introduced FIFA Forward programme which enables FIFA members to apply for development under a tailored scheme unique to each association.
It was revealed during the press conference that the facility shall be done in two phases, the first features the foundations, covering and the playing court. The second phase shall consist of seating areas and the dressing rooms.
FIFA has already approved USD$600,000.00 to go towards the first phase of the project and it is anticipated that second phase will be met by the Solomon Islands Government. A timeline of 6 months has been given for the completion of the first phase and work is scheduled to commence as early as November.
SIFF is putting together a procedure with an independent architect and project manager to oversee the construction process. A tender process will be conducted to identify the contractor that will carry out the construction.
The futsal court will be constructed on land in East Honiara adjacent to where the SIFF academy is located.