SOLOMON Islands Football Federation (SIFF) delegation to Russia has arrived safely in Moscow today ahead of the FIFA Congress.
The three-man delegation is headed by SIFF President William Lai, Malaita Football Association (MFA) President, Eddie Omokirio and Honiara Football Association (HFA) President, Bradley Alaha.
The trio who left the country on Saturday will also attend the OFC Congress where an Acting President is due to be elected.
President Lai said there are important decisions to be made during the two congresses.
“The FIFA congress is an annual event but this year it will take place in Russia due to the World Cup,” he said.
“OFC will also hold its congress. This is important because we all know that former OFC president has been forced to resign and FIFA demands OFC to make a replacement as soon as possible.
“Apparently, there are seven candidates vying for the post.
“Nomarlly it doesn’t happen that way. This situation only comes about due to the sudden resignation of David Chung in April”.
The SIFF delegation will also take part in the voting to determine host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“However, we will also vote to determine the host of the 2026 World Cup during the FIFA Congress.
“Previously, the World Cup hosts are only determined by the FIFA executive but now it has changed where by the host will be decided by our votes,” Lai said.
Morocco is vying against a joint bid by Mexico, USA and Canada for the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
MFA President and SIFF’s Vice President, Eddie Omokirio said the FIFA Congress is an opportunity to raise Solomon Islands’ football development aspirations.
“I am pleased with the opportunity to attend the OFC and FIFA Congress,” he said.
“We will make sure Solomon Islands is heard at the top level at the FIFA Congress”.
HFA President, Bradley Alaha shared the same sentiments.
“I take this opportunity as an honour to represent Solomon Islands at the FIFA Congress,” he said.
“In my capacity as the HFA president I will also be presenting the football family in Honiara.
“To be part of the FIFA congress is a big achievement where it comes with a huge responsibility.
“Given the congress coincides with the World Cup, there is a good feeling of excitement that comes a lot with it”.
Apart from official duties, the trio will attend the opening ceremony of the Russia FIFA World Cup and watch the opener between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Photo: The trio during a press conference at the Allen Boso complex in Honiara.