The Solomon Islands celebrated the opening of their second Goal project over the weekend as the Alan Boso National Soccer Academy opened its doors.

SIFF President Mr. Martin Alufurai stated the Alan Boso Academy will be ready to run programmes beginning March 2006 and announced the academy is dedicated to the youth and women of Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza hopes similar facilities could be built in the provinces. Speaking at the opening of the national football academy Kemakeza noted that if such facilities were built in the provinces it will provide opportunities for the majority of youths in the provinces.

“I would like to see that similar facilities be developed in the provinces to provide opportunities for the majority of the youths. By providing such facilities in the provinces, it will assist to identify the innumerable hidden talents and skills that are waiting to be tapped in the development of the sport,”

He challenged the youth of the nation to take advantage of the facilities to become better sportsmen and women in the county and when they are called to participate in sport at regional and international arena to be true representatives of Solomon Islands.

The prime minister also called for care and proper use of the facility by those who will benefit from it to develop and advance their skills.

“Now that you have this magnificent building for this purpose of developing and advancing sporting skills, it is my sincere hope and plea that you will look after and make good use of these facilities,” Kemakeza said.

Such a magnificent facility would not have been possible without the vision and foresight of those who initiated the idea of establishing the Academy. While, highlighting that, Kemakeza also paid special tribute to the late Allan Boso and late Matthew Kausimae “for their dedication and their leadership and inspiration for the initial facilitation of the project which has now become a reality today.”

Kausimae passed away just days before the inauguration of the Academy. A one minute silence was observed for the two men.

SIFF President Mr Martin Alufurai thanked the Government of Kemakeza for their assistance towards the building of the SIFF Football Academy through duty exemptions and assistance to the National Team’s World Cup campaign.

He stressed that without government support it would not be easy for SIFF to build the academy and praised the government for their assistance.

The total cost of the building and turf is about SBD $3million (US$440,000.00). The building will provide office space for the SIFF headquarters, an education centre and a dormitory. Funding for the project was provided by FIFA under its Goal Development programme.

And OFC President Reynald Temarii assured SIFF of his support to the federation for its proposal for a third Goal Project.

Temarii who also attended as FIFA representative, in the absence of Mr. Joseph S. Blatter, Alufurai’s request that OFC consider giving Solomon Islands its third Goal project in recognition of football as a unifying force.

Mr. Alufurai told those that had gathered for the occasion including Prime Minister Sir Alan Kemakesa, members of the diplomatic corps and other invited guests of what football did for Solomon Islands when the country was on its knees.

Elsewhere, Mr. Temarii assured Solomon Islands of free access to televised World Cup matches in Germany from their homes in 2006. Temarii was aware SIFF had to spend $40,000 to ensure those with access to TV were able to watch the matches in Japan and Korea live. Temarii is aware of the passion Solomon Islanders have for football and will do everything in his capacity to enable his promise comes to pass.