Thursday, 9 October 2008 3:56 PM

Win in Oceania Project & SIFF

It is encouraging to note that another noble FIFA initiative, to be known as the "Win in Oceania" project will be implemented in 2009 for OFC member associations (MAs).

SIFF President Martin Alufurai who attended the OFC Executive meeting is reported to be excited about the US$8 million project.

The 'Win in Oceania' concept is said to be targeted at assisting MAs to improve their infrastructures and strengthen their administration; boost national competitions; Medical (e.g. Drug/ Physiotherapy); Competition for futsal/beach soccer; Grassroots programme and junior competitions. These are all worthwhile undertakings for SIFF.

My only concern culminates from the fact that despite the influx of assistance and incentives from the world body, FIFA and the OFC, our football ranking continues to drop drastically.

In April and May, Solomon Islands was ranked 120th in the world but fell drastically to 163rd in the latest rankings released on October 8 2008. This generally indicates that Solomon Islands is now trailing our OFC neighbours New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu. Our recent football appearances within the region was quite dismal, except for futsal and beach soccer, but yet with mixed results as well.

It is time that the SIFF administrators stop bragging about what is in the 'bag' for Solomon Islands, but expend on efforts that can yield national teams that can perform rather than mere participation and exposure. This may imply supporting the welfare of our national players and coaches as opposed to a few elites in the famous house at Panatina.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Exsley Taloiburi and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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