BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) technical department will be taking tough stance on members of the national under-16 and the under-19 training squads concerning the habits of betelnut chewing and cigarette smoking.
According to a statement released by the SIFF technical department yesterday, Development Officer Henry Fa’arodo Junior expressed that any player who is caught chewing betelnut and smoking will be kicked out immediately.
The call comes as SIFF calls in training and trials for members of the national under-19 training squad which was named yesterday.
Fa’arodo Junior, who was a former national rep himself having risen through the ranks from the under-17 up to the senior level, explained that being a national representative comes with a lot of responsibility.
“Therefore, we will not tolerate and entertain those members of the under-16 and the under-19 training squads who continue to engage in chewing betel nut and smoking.
“The SIFF technical department wants to make this as a standard for national teams across all ranks.
“Players supposed to be upholding good sporting values such as refrainining from smoking and chewing betelnut which could only reduce their playing conditions (or fitness),” Fa’arodo Junior said.
Meanwhile, most of the players in the 44-man national under-19 training squad named yesterday was selected during the Youth Solomon Cup in January with only four exceptions which includes Marist defender and Europe-based Marcus Chan.
The national under-16 training squad was already named in January.
The national under-16 and the under-19 teams are training toward the upcoming youth oceania championships to be held this year.
The Oceania Under-19 championship will be held in Tahiti in August while the Oceania Under-16 Championship will be played in Honiara in September.
Fa’arodo Junior said the under-19 training squad will commence preparation with trials starting Monday next week at SIFF Academy.