FIFA President Gianni receives warm welcome from PM


The picturesque country of Solomon Islands was abuzz with excitement as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare extended a gracious welcome to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his distinguished delegation.

The occasion marked a significant moment for football enthusiasts and the nation as a whole.

During their insightful discussion within the Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Sogavare underscored the unifying power of football that transcends cultural and societal boundaries.

“Solomon Islands boasts a rich and fervent football tradition,” he emphasised.

“Football has emerged as a potent force, fostering peace, camaraderie, friendship, and, of course, the principles of fair play among our youth and communities.”

Sogavare reiterated how football has ignited boundless aspirations among the nation’s populace, motivating them to strive for excellence both on and off the pitch.

“The sport holds an esteemed place in the hearts of Solomon Islanders, symbolizing hope, unity, and shared values,” he said.

Expressing his gratitude for FIFA’s unwavering support, Sogavare acknowledged the pivotal role played by the organization in nurturing football infrastructure and empowering local football associations.

He extended a warm and heartfelt welcome to President Infantino, recognizing the timeliness of his visit, which aligns with a period of flourishing growth and progress for football in Solomon Islands.

Infantino was at the helm of a distinguished entourage, including Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) President Lambert Maltock of Vanuatu, the accomplished Jillian Anne Ellis, former coach of the United States women’s team, the legendary world referee Pierluigi Collina, the former President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Carlos Cordeiro, and the celebrated FIFA World Cup 1998 champion and former French and Inter Milan forward, Youri Djorkaeff.

The pinnacle of Infantino’s visit materialized with his active participation in the Solomon Power Iumi U-14 Championship at DC Park, his involvement in the enthralling FIFA President’s 11 versus SIFF President’s 11 match at Lawson Tama stadium, and an elegant official dinner hosted at the Coral Seas resort.

Prior to gracing the shores of Solomon Islands, President Infantino embarked on a tour of several OFC member associations, including stops in Cook Islands, American Samoa, Vanuatu, and Fiji. The journey culminated with a visit to Papua New Guinea before his arrival in Solomon Islands.

As Infantino bid farewell to the Solomon Islands, he assured Prime Minister Sogavare of FIFA’s resolute commitment to supporting the country’s youth through sports development, thereby contributing to the nation’s overall progress and development.

The visit left an indelible mark, symbolizing the profound impact of football in fostering unity, growth, and a brighter future for all.

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