BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE national under-16 side will begin its preparation for next year’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru soon.
Head coach Stanley Waita confirmed on Monday.
Waita said they are yet to finalise an exact date for the kick off of their preparation but they would like to have it started by the end of the month.
“I have to meet with the boys first before coming up with an exact date. But it has to be the end of this month,” he added.
Solomon Islands and New Zealand will take part in the 18th edition of the global biennial event as Oceania representatives after finishing as the top two teams in the regional qualifiers held in Honiara last month.
Next year’s youth world cup is scheduled to run from October 5 to 27 across eight host cities in Peru.
Four Asian teams namely Australia, Japan, South Korea and Tajikistan join host nation Peru and the two Oceania reps Solomon Islands and New Zealand, occupying the first seven slots in the 24-team tournament.
Seventeen slots are yet to be filled by teams from UEFA (Europe – 5 teams), CAF (Africa – 4 teams), CONMEBOL (South America – 4 teams) and CONCACAF (Central, North America and Caribbean – 4 teams).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rick Hou has assured the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) of his government’s support for the Solomon Islands national U-17 team towards their preparations for the world cup through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The proposed assistance was discussed in a meeting between SIFF president, William Lai and Prime Minister Houenipwela held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) last Wednesday.
During the meeting, Lai presented a brief on the national U-17 preparation plan to the Prime Minister which includes tours, international friendlies and training camp.
“For the next three weeks we are in the process of finalizing our preparation plan for our U-17 team which includes training camps in Japan, Spain, England and in South America,” the SIFF president said.
“So we need the government support as we are trying to prepare a competitive team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru next October.”
Prime Minister Houenipwela then assured the SIFF president that the government will assist the team.
“I want to assure SIFF that my government is committed in supporting the team through our ministry responsible,” the Prime Minister said.
“If you have a budget it will be helpful to send it so we could follow it up with the Home Affairs ministry.”