Tahiti national futsal team, the Aito Arii, is set to play three friendlies against a professional Australian club side Galaxy FC, scheduled for Monday, July 29, Wednesday, July 31 and Friday, August 2, at 7:30 pm at the Dragon Arena in Titioro, Papeete.
The meetings are part of Tahiti’s preparations for the Oceania Football Confederation’s FIFA Futsal World Cup 2020 Qualifiers in New Caledonia later this year.
Eight national teams have been locked in to participate in this year’s rebranded qualifier, the OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2019, to be held at Aréne du Sud in Paita from October 28 to 2 November. Tahiti were drawn into Group B and will take on Fiji, Tonga and the reigning Champions, Solomon Islands. While Group A is made up of American Samoa, New Zealand, Vanuatu and the host nation, New Caledonia.
Fédération Tahitienne de Football caught up with Aito Arii coach Jean-Baptiste Barsinas ahead of the friendlies:
“We are preparing for the qualifiers that will take place in New Caledonia in October 2019. Playing foreign teams is part of our preparation. These qualifiers are for the Futsal World Cup that will be held in Lithuania in February 2020. For these qualifiers for the Oceania region there will be us, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and I believe Tonga too.”
“We have reshuffled the players a bit. Some young people have joined the group since September-October 2018. Some former players are also present. The captain is Steve Wong from Mahina. We have players from Mahina, Pirae, Papeete, Punaauia and Rapa as well.”
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