BY JOY OFASIA
Having the best dedicated football academy in the Pacific is only the start point for our soccer-loving country, said Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare at the official handover of the Pacific Games 2023/SIFF Football Academy project at the new SIFF Football Academy yesterday.
Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Damukana Sogavare said the facility will increase expectations of success by winning medals during the upcoming games.
“With this facility will come increasing expectations of success; hence, with this 72+ million dollar investment to develop soccer, the country expects a return on its investment through winning competitions and specifically by winning medals during the upcoming games,” PM Manasseh Sogavare said.
He said that it is his hope that SIFF Academy will be a source of inspiration and pride for our nation.
“Soccer is a national sport in our country, and it is my hope that SIFF Academy will not only be a source of inspiration and pride for our nation but will also become the factory literally where we produce the best soccer players in both genders and across all three courts for our nation,” he said.
The SIFF football academy comprises two full-size FIFA-compliant beach soccer courts, one futsal court, one 2-story administration building, and one 2-story dormitory accommodation building with 50 beds, together with associated services to ensure SIFF’s long-term legacy after the 2023 Pacific Games are over.
“The academy will provide the training ground and a home for all our young soccer players, both men and women, across all three courts,” PM Sogavare said.
The Honourable Prime Minister acknowledged the contractor JED for the completion of the SIFF Football Academy and the Government of Papua New Guinea and Japan for their great support through finance towards this project.