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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beach Soccer: Bilikiki to enter Marseille 2008 Beach Soccer world cup without OFC competition

The Bilikiki Beach soccer team has been accorded direct entry into the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Marseille France in 2008, it was confirmed.

An elated Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) General Secretary Eddie Ngava described Bilikiki’s direct entry as “great news”. “This is great news. The Bilikiki will now slide all the way to France, by passing the OFC Qualifiers,” he says.

But while he welcomes the announcement, he is also mindful about the the amount of work, dedication and commitment such an undertaking will need and calls for concerted effort from everyone concern. “Whilst this is great, there will need to be a lot of dedication and commitment in preparation. We are yet to receive further advise form OFC on international preparation and related costs.”

In the meantime, he urges everyone involved to work together to ensure all domestic preparations are mapped out well.

The confirmation was relayed to SIFF president Martin Alufurai at the weekend by OFC president Reynald Temarii. Responding to the message, the SIFF president thanked Temarii for confirming Solomon Islands’ direct entry to the 2008 Beach World Cup final competition and also for the support of the OFC Executive.

The decision to give Bilikiki their third representation duties was agreed to when Temarii and his General Secretary Tai Nicholas met with the FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, and the FIFA Director of competitions, Jim Brown, recently.

Temarii also assured Alufurai that he will try to organise a visit by one trainer from Brazil or Europe to assist Bilikiki in their preparation. Reuben Oimae, Bilikiki Team Manager also added that now FIFA had given the greenlight for Solomon Islands to directly enter the beach play off in France next year, they will put on their best.

Mr. Oimae said: “Regardless of that, we still have respect for our other beach soccer nations.” These include Vanuatu, New Zealand, Tahiti and the others.

In the meantime, he said that Fiji is trying to get into and even though Solomon Islands have played them yet, but still they will not under-estimate them.

Source: Solomonstar

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