SIFF meets today

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Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) President William Lai.
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OFC postponed Champions League

BY PETER ZOLEVEKE II

SOLOMON Islands Football Federation (SIFF) will conduct a staff meeting scheduled for today (Friday 15th) to discuss and decide if national football activities resume, while the OFC Champions League this season have been postponed until September 2020.

These were confirmed by the OFC Executive Committee and SIFF as competitions and football related activities has been affected by the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

“The SIFF meeting today is to discuss dates and rescheduling of the calendar of events,” an SIFF insider informed SunSPORTS.

OFC Executive Committee also postponed major competitions on Thursday 14th May in a press statement.

 “The OFC Champions League 2020 quarter-finals have been postponed until September 2020 at the earliest and OFC remains in regular contact with the eight clubs that have qualified for the knockout stages,” an OFC press statement released.

The winner of the Champions League will represent OFC at the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup that is scheduled to be played in Qatar later in December.

Solomon Islands Club representatives; Solomon Warriors and Henderson Eels both earned a spot at the knock-out stages in their respective Groups.

“We will not resume our training schedule until SIFF and OFC give the green light for football to resume,” H. Eels head coach, Eddie Marahare recently told SunSPORTS.

Warriors were runners-up in Group C with 3 points while Eels tied with group leaders Malampa Revivors FC on 5 points in Group B back in February.

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Furthermore, Solomon Island National teams in both codes (11-aside and futsal) also were faced with uncertainty to return with respective preparations includes competitions which were put on halt since March.

On April 14, OFC announced that the OFC Nations Cup 2020 postponement. 

“SIFF Executive has decided to call off all training sessions for both the Football Men’s national team and the National futsal team for an indefinite period as a measure in response to the Coronavirus pandemic,” a SIFF statement on March 23rd reads.

Local competitions and activities include the TSL League, TSL U-19, U16 Youth Solomon Cup and related football development programmes.  

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the coronavirus pandemic had created some unique challenges for football.

“While our top priority for the football community is safety, we need to continue to evaluate our options for this year and assess what our competitions may look like,” Castillo said.

“We are looking forward to football returning and will only do so when it is safe for all of the participants. We will continue to do our part in stopping the spread of coronavirus.”

On March 9, OFC suspended all of its football activities in the Pacific until at least May 6.

However, potential new dates will be reviewed by OFC on July 31 when governments in the Pacific have provided more information on border restrictions and sports activities, according to OFC.

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