Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela has assured the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) of his government’s support for the Solomon Islands national U-17 team.
The support will go towards the U-17 World Cup preparations through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
This was discussed during a meeting between SIFF president, William Lai and Prime Minister Houenipwela at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) on Wednesday this week.
During the meeting, Lai presented a brief on the national U-17 preparation plan to the Prime Minister which includes tours, international friendlies and training camp.
“For the next three weeks we are in the process of finalizing our preparation plan for our U-17 team which includes training camps in Japan, Spain, England and in South America”, the SIFF president said.
“So we need the government support as we are trying to prepare a competitive team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru next October.
“SIFF is committed to put money on the team from FIFA funding but for extra costs is where we want the government to assist us.”
The SIFF president stressed that the national football body want to send a well prepared team to the country’s first football World Cup appearance.
Prime Minister Houenipwela assured the SIFF president that the government will assist the team.
“I want to assure SIFF that my government is committed in supporting the team through our ministry responsible”, the Prime Minister said.
“If you have a budget it will be helpful to send it so we could follow it up with the Home Affairs ministry.”
Other issues discussed during the meeting included the relocation of the SIFF headquarter, futsal stadium project and Lawson Tama Stadium redevelopment plan.
The futsal stadium and Lawson Tama development projects are part of the 2023 Pacific Games which will be administered by the facilities committee under the Pacific Games Act recently passed in Parliament.
“As soon as the preparations are done, all the responsibilities will be handed over to the national hosting authority, the organizing committee and the facilities committee which are stated under the Act,” Prime Minister Houenipwela added.
Also present at the meeting with the Prime Minister was SIFF executive member, Tommy Mana and SIFF Technical Director, Felipe Vega-Arango from Spain.