Monday, 3 November 2008 11:27 AM

'Football, Contributor to Economy'

Speaking at the SIFF Annual Congress last week, President, Mr. Martin Alufurai said that 2008, has indeed been a year of great challenges for SIFF.

Mr. Alufurai said that this year's challenges involved all areas of football that is; development, administration, finances, management, competition, governance and international relations.

He also said that the constant growth of football means that compared to ten years ago, many more people are now either directly linked to the game or being activated by it.

"Besides the football's reputation as the number one sport in our country, it also brings with it an increased level of social responsibility with a sense of respect and pride. But above all, there is a higher commitment to make most of this opportunity, to make a positive contribution towards improving our society and nation," he said.

Mr. Alufurai continued on saying that football is a continuous contribution to the economy of Solomon Islands in terms of foreign currency earnings resulting directly through the annual development grant assistance to SIFF from FIFA and OFC.

He also mentioned that in the area of local tourism, football continues to be a major promotional force through the hosting of national competitions such as the Telekom National Club Championship, Solomon Cup, National Women's Competition, O League, Youth Competitions and the DJ league, with the 'I Love it' campaign.

Mr Alufurai stated that these events when hosted cause massive movements of rural population as they travel from the Islands to watch these events. Thus promoting local tourism and at the same time facilitating the integration of our people, hence making football a direct contributor to building a one and strong Solomon Islands Nation.

Mr. Alufurai urged the National Government and the Honiara City Council to provide land and building for a proper international standard indoor playing facility for Futsal and an international standard venue for beach soccer.

He also urged the Honiara City Council to transfer the title of Lawson Tama field to SIFF so they could solicit funds to develop it into a proper stadium with proper facilities.