Malaita Eagles team avoid ban, Solomon Cup to continue today
Eagles Team Manager and Vice-President of Malaita Football Association, Eddie Misite'e yeterday said, "We had raised the issue of security on Friday's technical meeting with SIFF. SIFF at that time assured us that security would be provided even saying thousands will be deployed. On Saturday only 18 personnel's showed up."
Mr. Misite'e also emphasized that in a quick emergency held on Sunday the major sponsor of the event, Our Telekom remained unfazed by the incident and reaffirmed their support for the tournament.
"On the issue of a possible ban; we argued that SIFF must take responsibility for their failure and I think they have accepted that fault. We also argued that unlike 1993 where the players provoked the fans into rioting when they walked off the field, this team accepted the decision and had vowed to continue playing. It was the fans who took advantage of the situation. Therefore it will be very unfair for the team or Malaita to be banned. Then we must also acknowledged that Malaita team management had done all it can to avoid this situation but the fault lies squarely on SIFF's shoulder for their failure to meet their obligation to provide security." Mr. Misite'e said.
Mr. Misite'e stressed that he and coach Toata Molea fought hard for the team and it has been accepted by SIFF that the Malaita team will not be fined. "In 1993 we were handed a 2 year ban but this time it would be very unfair for SIFF to do that to us."
The Malaita team plays its second game today at 2pm when the competition resumes.
Mr. Misite'e also revealed that 'the outcome of Saturday's game will be decided in a future technical meeting. We do not know what decision may be reached but the possibility that a replay will be made is likely unless SIFF decides to award the win to Honiara or an unlikely draw. Bear in mind the goal had been awarded then retracted so a good analysis must be made with a good decision reached. Either way, the Malaita team still has 3 games to play and we will make sure we win all remaining games to put ourselves in a position to qualify for the semi finals."