“Tell the truth”

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SIFF urges Konofilia not to deny assistance given to pay for his boys’ Australian visas in last year’s failed overseas soccer trials attempt

BY ROMULUS HUTA

THE national football governing body has urged its critic Joel Moffat Konofilia to admit the truth and not tell lies to the public.

This is regarding an alleged claim made by Konofilia yesterday saying that the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) did not pay for his boys’ visa fees to travel to Australia in February last year to attend a soccer trial which never eventuated.

The two boys who were supposed to attend the trials in Australia are members of the Royals Football Academy founded by Konofilia, who is a former national soccer rep himself.

The claim was given in an article published in yesterday’s issue of Island Sun which bore a response by Konofilia to a statement issued by SIFF last week condemning him of his continuous scathing attacks against them in the social media.

In one part of the response, Konofilia denies the fund committed by SIFF to pay for his boys’ Australian visas to travel for the trials overseas last year.

Konofilia then went on to deny that SIFF had never released the money intended to pay for his players’ visas from their account because the visa application was never submitted in the end.

At the same time, Konofilia also admitted that the reason why this did not happen was due to the fact that he spent the whole month of February last year in jail.

However, the denial over the visa payment somehow angered SIFF and they came back lashing out at him saying it’s a blatant lie.

“Payment of visa was done to Joel last year and we have evidence here,” SIFF said.

Copies of the payment voucher raised by the SIFF technical department for the visa payment last year were obtained by SunSPORTS last night and it revealed that they actually paid for it.

The documents obtained and dated January 19, 2017 states the payment raised includes an amount of $1,690 plus bank charge fee of $50 for Visa for two players paid to the Australian High Commission, along with another sum of $432.44 paid to TT services NZL Ltd plus $50 bank charge.

The payment for the visa and the TT Services were raised on separated general payment vouchers, according to documents obtained.

All amounts added up together totals to $2,314.44 and were committed by SIFF via its Youth Development Account.

In recent weeks, Konofilia came up with another similar plan to send some of his academy’s players to the United Kingdom to attend trials and he approached SIFF again for assistance.

However, having considered the failed attempt by Konofilia last year, SIFF remains sceptical on whether to assist him or not due to the previous experience encountered with him where they added that any project emerging with his (Konofilia) face on it may appear dubious.

Basing their stand on the above, SIFF requested Konofilia to provide them informative details of his players’ overseas trials but he instead refused to disclose them.

Details requested by SIFF includes confirmed correspondence from EPL clubs about the trials, contacts and other details which then will be forwarded to the executive members for consideration.

The failure by Konofilia in disclosing the requested details gave SIFF no other option but rather raise further questions regarding his dealings to ensure they don’t fall into the same pit again as last year.

SIFF added: “That’s the main reason why his dealing is questionable and SIFF has not allocated any money for such arrangement like Joel’s because Royals is not affiliated to HFA or SIFF.

“Joel is dealing as an agent and under FIFA regulation; legally SIFF is not allowed to deal with a player agent.

“Joel should understand better as a former player himself.

“Also FIFA is auditing SIFF’s financial status so we need to be careful with our spending.

“We asked Joel to let us know which clubs and agent he is working with because we can help him with our connection within the English Football Association (FA).”

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