The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has revealed that the Brazilian government, through the Embassy of Brazil in Australia, is willing to send over a coach to work with the Bonitos national team as it prepares for the Pacific Games.SIFF general secretary Eddie Ngava says the federation has received word of the possible support from Brazil and is eager to follow it up over the coming weeks.
"We received a fax from our consulate in Canberra last week that carried a copy of a letter from the Embassy of Brazil detailing the offer of possible technical assistance which they are willing to support," Ngava says.
The letter from the Brazilian Embassy stated that it would meet the travel, insurance and allowances of the nominated coach for 60 days through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency.
Assistance from the Solomon Islands government would also be required and SIFF management is now pursuing this possibility with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The government has assisted football with the initial stages of this arrangement because it comes under the bilateral ties which the Solomon Islands shares with Brazil. I think making this a reality is both the goal of SIFF and the national government and SIFF looks forward to the assurance to come," Ngava says.
SIFF has not revealed much detail about the role planned for the technical advisor from Brazil but it is expected to centre around the preparation and participation of the senior national team in the Pacific Games, set to take place in New Caledonia during August and September. Capacity building for the current national coaches is another focus.
The Brazilian link is not the first time such a possibility has been explored by SIFF.
Earlier this year, one of the requests for outside assistance came to fruition when the Austrian government supported a one-month technical assistance programme conducted by two coaches from the Austrian Football Association. The Austrian duo also worked with the national U-20 team that finished runners-up at the OFC U-20 Championship in New Zealand in April.
The arrangement was similar to the one proposed by the Brazilian governemt, except that all local costs for the two coaches were met by SIFF.
Solomon Islands has had a number of international coaches over the years, such as Ian Lang in the 1980s, George Cowie in the 1990s and Airton Andrioli more recently. The most memorable overseas-based coach to take the reins is Allan Gillette, who led the country to its first ever FIFA World Cup play-off against Australia in 2005.