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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on November 3, officially opened the country’s Friendship Hall – Multipurpose Futsal Stadium Complex saying “it has taken 14 years for the government to deliver on a promise made in 2008 upon the return of our inaugural ‘trail-blazing’ Kurukuru team to our first Futsal world cup to build a national futsal facility”
The first-ever Futsal complex, Friendship Hall, is located at Panatina Field. It is incredible what the Solomon Islands have achieved on the international stage with limited resources and no international futsal facility until now. The facility was actually officially handed over 2 months ago to the Solomon Islands Government funded by the government and people of the Republic of Indonesia. According to Indonesia’s top diplomat, the project is a milestone in the Indonesia-Solomon Islands relations.
“It is not just bricks and mortars, it is a symbol of hope, friendship, and opportunity,” the Indonesian Foreign Minister stated.
Speaking on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony Prime minister Sogavare said “Thanks to the 2023 Pacific Games, we have now delivered on this promise and our futsal players have now realized their dreams for a home in which they can further sharpen the skills of their trade and also where our sports federations can use to prepare, as we have exactly 1 year and 19 days to prepare our teams to compete and do our country proud at the 2023 Pacific Games”.
The Friendship Multipurpose Hall facility is the first ‘fully completed’ venue for the 2023 Pacific Games, the facility can accommodate three full-size futsal courts and is also designed to accommodate other indoor sports such as basketball, netball, volleyball, and badminton inclusive of a media, control, broadcast and a VIP rooms with expandable seating arrangements that comfortably house 1,500 spectators. This development will be wonderful for the Solomon Islands ‘Kurukuru’ Futsal team when hosting matches at home and for their fans to enjoy watching their heroes.
The Friendship Hall facility will remain the property of the National Hosting Authority until it is formally handed over to the National Sports Council after the 2023 Pacific Games as per the 2023 Pacific Games Act.
From now and the eventual handover to the National Sports Council, the NHA is building the capacity of the Sports Council and will co-manage the facility with the National Sports Council until the 2023 Pacific Games.
OFC Futsal Cup
The Solomon Islands had been dominating the competition for many years since Australia moved to the AFC. However, this year they lost their hold on the competition, losing to New Zealand who had pushed them all the way in the previous tournament. Now with their new facilities and resources to train at home, will the Kurukuru come back and challenge their Kiwi neighbours? We have no doubt they will but who will represent the Oceania Region at the next world cup? We are looking forward to the occasion and let’s see who comes out on top!
Source of the pictures: Solomon Islands Government website
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