Last year, 2017, had been a successful year for Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) despite many challenges.
This was highlighted during the SIFF 27th Ordinary Congress which was successfully held over the weekend in Honiara.
More than 20 local football leaders convened at the Allen Boso Complex, SIFF academy for a two days meeting.
Delegates to the congress included presidents and general secretaries of Provincial Football Associations (PFA) and member associations like SIFF license clubs, coaches association, referees associations and women football association.
Before the actual congress, a pre-congress was held on Thursday where member associations were given the chance to do their presentation.
Key agenda discussed during the congress proper were approval of the budget, financial statements, election of the president including the executive body and president’s activity report.
Unfortunately, the financial report was not ready since SIFF’s auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu SI Ltd are still working on it.
Malaita Football Association (MFA) rep moved a motion for the financial report to be deliberated on a later date this week.
As a result, all PFA representatives will remain in Honiara for additional few days to pass the report when it’s tabled.
SIFF president, William Lai in his opening remarks said 2017 was a tough and challenging year for SIFF but also rewarding and prosperous in many respects for Solomon Islands football.
A major achievement was SIFF managed to settle its debt with FIFA in the fiscal year.
In return FIFA is committed to send its annual funding to the national football body.
Last year, FIFA continue its funding to SIFF which see major improvements in administration and competition level.
“Year 2017 saw our national senior men’s football team reached the OFC FIFA World Cup qualifiers final play-off against New Zealand. Despite their best efforts, the team finished as second best and did not qualify for the Russia FIFA World Cup finals” he said.
“However, their results indicated that we remain on par with the region and have the potential to gain more in the future”.
The national semi-professional league was a highlight of Lai’s activity report.
“The Telekom S-League, which continues to grow from strength to strength under the leadership of the S-League Board, concluded its eight season with Solomon Warriors named as the champions for the fourth time. Henderson Eels made their debut season by finishing fourth and our league continues to attract players from abroad like Vanuatu, PNG, Australia, Italy and Brazil” he added.
SIFF has rebuild its relationship with key partners and stakeholders last year.
“We know what it takes to be successful internationally and the groundwork for success in the future is being shaped.
“We need to lift all aspects of the game from administration to coaching and from grassroots to the elite level
“The new 36 year lease for Lawson Tama signed with the Honiara City Council is a major achievement and underlines mutual passion for football. Also, we have signed another partnership deal with our national carrier, Solomon Airlines in what we hope will result in a longer term relationship. We also revived our partnership with Our Telekom – our major sponsor.
“A word of gratitude is due to FIFA and OFC for their ongoing support through their various departments. We also want to express our appreciation to our major partners in Solomon Islands and our national government.
“I sign off with a call for stronger partnerships and more cooperation as we grow together in 2018. This is our game, with our efforts and your support we can achieve our goals,” Lai stated.
Other highlights of Lai’s activity report were achievements of futsal which saw our national team participated in the Asian Indoor Games and Junior Kurukuru qualified to the Youth Olympics with an undefeated record in the OFC Youth futsal tournament last year.
The revival of the Solomon Cup after 12 years was another milestone achievement for SIFF in 2017.
The new lease agreement between SIFF and HCC paves the way for Lawson Tama to undergo redevelopment ahead of the 2023 Pacific Games.
It has been a long overdue renovation project which SIFF seeking support from the government.
On education programs, SIFF become the first Oceania federation to host an OFC B-License coaching course under the guidance of two OFC instructors and Technical Director Felipe Vega-Arango.
More than 30 local coaches are still undertaking the B-License program.
Meanwhile, SIFF will hold another congress next year where the election of president, vice president and members of the executive would be carried out.