The Oceania Football Confederation says it's important that the Solomon Islands are competitive at this month's Futsal World Cup, if the region wants to keep it's automatic entry spot.The Kurukuru were thumped 16-0 by Russia in their opening match of the tournament at the weekend, and will play Colombia this evening.
The Futsal Development Officer for Oceania Football, Paul Toohey, says with a number of professional futsal leagues established overseas there are plenty of countries keen to take Oceania's place.
"Especially if we look at teams in Europe - there's some very very competitive teams, like France for example, who don't get anywhere near qualifying so unless we can go to these tournaments and show we can compete it does put a lot of pressure on. In the end I think we will take a look at the whole tournament and say have we improved from 2008 and if we have we've got a really good case to continuing to try and develop futsal in the region and hopefully FIFA will look at it the same way."
Solomon Islands are the team with the youngest average age in Thailand and were a little unfortunate to open their campaign against a genuine title contender in Russia. Eliot Ragomo and Co will therefore be looking to set the record straight against Colombia, and in the process boost their hopes of staying in the competition.
Following the Russia game the Solomons will also take on Colombia and Guatemala in pool play.