By Taromane Martin
THE Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has given their endorsement for Solomon Islands to include futsal and beach soccer when the country hosts the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara.
A statement from the Sol2023 National Hosting Authority (NHA) office yesterday said the regional football body has given their consent for their request for to include both football codes in the Pacific Games.
However, NHA said now working together with the national Olympic Federation, SIFF and OFC to formally ask the Pacific Games Council to consider.
“Solomon Islands have commenced the process to seek the inclusion of Futsal and Beach Soccer to the approved sports for the 2023 Pacific Games.
“The process involves a request originating from the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) to the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) requesting OCF to formally endorse the request and then make a formal submission to the Pacific Games Council for its consideration at the next meeting of the PGC to include the two sports in the 2023 Pacific Games.
“The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Executive Committee Members endorsed the inclusion of Futsal and Beach Soccer at the 2023 Pacific Games to be held in Solomon Islands at its meeting held on 21st October 2018.
“The NHA and NOCSI are now working with SIFF and the OFC to formally submit a request to the PGC for its consideration to include Futsal and Beach Soccer to the approved Sports for the 2023 Pacific Games,” NHA said.
A total of 24 sports are confirmed by NHA to be hosted during the Sol2023 Pacific Games in Honiara.
Meanwhile NHA say they look for the support of the nation to help in the preparatory work over the next four years to ensure we host our first Pacific Games in 2023 the Solomon Way
“The 2023 Pacific Games project is a major commitment by the Solomon Islands Government. It is a project of national importance that had the potential to transform our youths, our people and our country.
“The investments into empowering the nation to host the 2023 Pacific Games will live long beyond the games. The games will be a very important catalyst for the longer-term development of sports in the country and the added benefits of a healthier population.
“The NHA seeks the support of the nation to help in the preparatory work over the next four years to ensure we host our first Pacific Games in 2023 the Solomon Way.
“Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue expressed satisfaction with the Pacific Games master plan and progress of Sol2023 to date.
“It is very gratifying that the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Honorable Manasseh Sogavare and the government as a whole is committed to the games.
“A lot of work has gone into the planning this year to date, and in the next 6 months we would expect that the next phase of actually moving into construction planning will commence.
“Sol2023 has got a good team led by Dr Rodgers, and we expect that our next update in a few months will provide further evidence that the 2023 Games are on track”
“The plan for the sports to be played at each location was provided along with a draft schedule commencing July 14 and finishing July 28, 2023,” the statement adds.