Futsal comes to the Pacific Islands as Samoa opens centres

Samoan kids playing footballAugust 29 - The Pacific Islands opened their first outdoor, surfaced Futsal court in Samoa last weekend in Samoa, funded through FIFA's development office as a GOAL IV project.

The all-weather court is located at the J.S. Blatter Complex in Tuanaimato.

Oceania Football Confederation President and FIFA Vice-President David Chung opened the facility. "This futsal playing court is a unique project in the Oceania region that combines local construction contractors with the special playing surface supplied and installed by a company based in the United States of America," he said.

A second facility, also funded through FIFA's Goal Progamme, was also inaugurated - a Regional Technical Centre in Savai'i. This is the first time the FIFA Development Office in Oceania has combined two projects into one funding programme.

The Savai'i site will act as the regional headquarters for the Football Federation Samoa (FFS) as they expand their activities to Samoa's largest island.

The regional technical centre is made up of an office, conference room, accommodation, changing rooms, public toilets and a maintenance shed. The eight-acre area of land also includes a full-size international pitch, plus several smaller ones for youth games.

"The vision of OFC is to popularise football in the region and to encourage the grassroots and youth to participate in well-structured and purposeful activities. Of course, we encourage the identification and development of talent that will ultimately bring quality of playing performance and credibility to the sport, but also a wider profile and recognition in the country," said Chung.

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