Top regional football clash coming - Solomon Star News

Top regional football clash coming

29 March 2012

The country is excited. Soccer fans are smiling and looking forward for hosting of the OFC Nations Cup in two months time.

Oceania Football Federation (OFC) yesterday announced that Solomon Islands will host the OFC Nations Cup.

Such an exciting news for a soccer mad and crazy nation.

As a nation that is passion with football we have missed the opportunity to host such an important tournament involving top teams in the region coming to our shores.

The last time Solomon Islands hosted an international competition was in 2005 when Honiara horded nine countries for the Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers.

This would also the first time Solomon Islands will be hosting the Nations Cup. 

Its nearly after 7 seven years now without the country hosting any international top tournament.

For sure the country most especially Honiara can't wait to see top regional teams coming and allow our people to see more actions.

The OFC Nations Cup will be held from June 1-12.

 The tournament is the second stage of the Oceania qualifying process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazilþ and the winner will also qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, to be held in Brazil during June 2013.

The national teams of Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu are all set to take part and will compete in a tournament based on a league system with semi-finals and a final.

It was Fiji which supposed to host the tournament.

But after last minute changes OFC then call for football member associations around the region to re-submit their bids.

Two bids were received – from SIFF and the F¨¦d¨¦ration Cal¨¦donienne de Football (FCF).

And its SIFF which had been awarded the rights.

New Caledonia though has the facilities last year hosted the Pacific Games which saw most of the top football teams participating.

And giving it to Solomon Islands is fair enough.

Not only that but Honiara is also preparing for the Arts Festival in July.

So this event can be a trial for the country ahead of Lawson had previously hosted some OFC tournaments.

Returning such a big tournament is a good thing for this country with more benefits.

Lawson Tama Stadium, a 25,000-capacity facility with a FIFA-standard playing surface in the heart of Honiara can still host such a big tournament.

Not only that but daily matches would give local crazy soccer fans the opportunity the top teams in action.

This would also be the first time ever the New Zealand All Whites would be playing in our shores.

They have been to the recent World cup in Africa representing the oceania.

New Zealand has won four of the eight Nations Cup events held so far while the other four were won by previous OFC member Australia, now part of the Asian Football Confederation.

With only two months before the biggest Oceania football tournament preparation for the event should now start.

SIFF says it has alot of work to do now to plan for this biggest event.

For SIFF, this is a welcoming news because it shows they have worked hard to get the tournament.

Despite being criticised over and over again, they should be commended for their work and effort in bringing such an opportunity here.

Everyone must support them no matter.

Good luck on your preparation SIFF.

And fans, lets be prepared for actions coming alive to us on our shores.