The Wantok Cup is the brainchild of the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) with no link to the now defunct Melanesia Cup competition.This was revealed by the SIFF General Secretary Eddie Ngava to members of the committee responsible for planning and organizing the proposed Wantok Cup competition.
"The Melanesian Cup was also the brainchild of the Solomon Islands Football Federation but these two competitions are not linked in anyway," he said.
He made the clarification following confusions raised by soccer commentators about the two competitions and why Fiji and New Caledonia were not included.
Ngava said the Wantok Cup is a Tri-nation competition between PNG, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. SIFF named the competition 'Wantok' because it reflects the one language that they all speak - Tok Pisin (PNG), Pidgin (Solomon Islands) Bislama (Vanuatu).
Ngava explained that the Wantok Cup will provide much needed international matches for the national teams of the three countries and help them to be competitive seeing that there are no other major regional competitions besides the South Pacific Games and World Cup qualifying competitions which happens after every four years.
"By having regular international matches, at reasonable cost will greatly benefit our teams in terms of preparation for regional competitions such as the South Pacific Games," he added.
The SIFF General Secretary thanked the Solomon Islands Government for meeting the accommodation for the visiting teams from PNG and Vanuatu. Meanwhile, Solomon Islands will enter two teams in this round-robin competition. A squad of more than 65 players selected from the recent Telekom Cup is being assembled and undergoing intensive preparation in Honiara.