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Monday, September 11, 2006

SI Beach Soccer victory is attributed to GOD: SIFF President

By Francis Pituvaka

The Solomon Islands Football Federation President Martin Alufurai has re-echoed Bilikiki Beach soccer players' sentiment following their victory that it was through God that came their victory.

He was speaking last Friday at a welcome barbecue SIFF had organized for the team, their families and invited guests held at the Garden of Eden Lawson Tama.

He says we need God in everything, without Him we are nothing. Alufurai recalled that he was speechless when the news of the victory was broken to him.

"It was about two minutes from full time that the SIFF General Sectary contacted me saying the Bilikiki boys were leading and I held my breath for almost two minutes," he adds.

For him the victory has raised the status of his federation and country World-wide. It was about a year ago that Solomon Islands played in the World Cup qualifying competition with Australia.

Solomon Bilikiki's victory has attracted interests from region as Solomon Islands once again become the focal point.

Alufurai admits that it would be a huge task to prepare the team for the next level of competition and will seek assistance from Oceania Football Confederation and other partners to prepare the team for the Solomon Islands first World Cup appearance.

Referring to Beach Soccer as a newly introduced code, the SIFF president says his federation will pursue further development of small sided games which includes beach soccer and futsal because Solomon Islands stand a good chance to do better.

Whilst that is what he intends to do, the 11-a-side code will be developed in the same manner. He stresses that the small sided games in beach soccer and futsal complements the outdoor soccer.

Next year will be another busy year for football as in January the Solomon Islands national Under 20 team will compete in the OFC Under 20 qualifying competition in Auckland, national Under 17 OFC competition in Tahiti and the Pacific Games in Samoa.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to give the Bilikiki Beach soccer the best preparation before they represent the Oceania in Brazil in November.

SIFF General Secretary, Eddie Ngava made the revelation when addressing those that had turned up for the dinner to welcome the beach soccer kings last Friday at Lawson Tama. He says the Oceania Football Confederation will step in to assist Bilikiki team prepare for the Beach soccer World Cup competition.

The plan is to enter the Bilikiki team in two beach soccer competitions outside the region to ensure they get some more playing before they head off to Brazil for the World competition. SIFF will source out assistance for Solomon Bilikiki from various sources both externally and internally. Another priority area is to get in a qualified beach soccer coach preferably from Brazil to assist the two beach soccer coaches Eddie Omokirio and Vivian Wickham in the preparatory stage.

The Bilikiki boys will return to training after a week break to begin preparation for the World Competition.

Source: SIFF

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