The national under-16 soccer side during the recent OFC Under-16 Championship in Honiara.
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By Taromane Martin

SOLOMON Islands have been official named by FIFA as one of the 23 nations confirmed to take part in this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

According to only 23 nations from the 24 countries have been confirmed for the youth world cup including representatives for Oceania Football confederation, New Zealand and Solomon Islands.

SIFF confirmed the news via their social media page over the weekend saying Solomon Islands has been named as one of the 23 teams confirmed to participate in the FIFA U-17 World Cup come October, according to reports from FIFA.Com.

“The official draws have been moved to be held on 11 July in Zurich, Switzerland,” SIFF posted on their social media page.

Solomon Islands whose qualification for the FIFA U-17 World Cup was marred by the over age controversy is still ongoing after the OFC appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports for an urgent hearing into the matter after Solomon Islands successfully appealed against the OFC Disciplinary Committee decision to forefeet them from the World Cup.

SIFF was expected to make a statement regarding the situation two weeks ago after CEO Leonard Paia told SunSPORTS, SIFF must be ready and prepared to defend the national U-17 team should OFC’s appeal is considered.

But so far nothing has come out yet from SIFF regarding OFC’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

“FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 to kick off on 26 October. Following on from a FIFA inspection visit to Brazil and further discussions with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), FIFA can today confirm that the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 will be played from 26 October until 17 November,” reported.

“The venues and the full match schedule will be confirmed ahead of the draw, which has been scheduled for 11 July 2019 at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.

“Throughout the past years, Brazil has successfully hosted a variety of competitions, including the FIFA World Cup™ and the Olympics,” said FIFA Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban. “We are convinced that Brazil’s event expertise, coupled with the unique football passion of their fans, will contribute to the success of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019. We would like to thank the CBF and all Brazilians who have embraced this tournament, demonstrating once more their unique love for the beautiful game.” It adds.

Meanwhile so far, 23 of the 24 participating teams are also confirmed. Beside hosts Brazil, the following member associations have qualified.

They are:

AFC: Australia, Japan, Korea Republic and Tajikistan

CAF: Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, TBC*

Concacaf: Canada, Haiti, Mexico and USA

CONMEBOL: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay

OFC: New Zealand and the Solomon Islands

UEFA: France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.