VFF, Port Vila: The Vanuatu Football Federation has thanked the public for their overwhelming support in a statement yesterday. To get its national team to the World Cup qualifiers in Samoa in May, the VFF has called on the public and business community for their support.
The statement says that despite the fact that the public appeal outside the Center Point car park has come at the odd time of the month, the VFF have reached its one week target in just two days – thanks to the those few people who have shown their support for the national World Cup Team by donating money.
The marketing committee under Chairman Jacques Himford was aiming to raise vt100,000, but as of Wednesday the donations have reached more than vt180,000.
While the campaign continues on other venues around central Port Vila in the coming days, the Chief Executive Officer of VFF Jimmy Nipo, is congratulating and thanking those people who have stepped forward to show their support for the national senior team.
“The players are in the Vanuatu team not of their own choice, but they were selected to represent our country. They and their families and guardians are making a lot of sacrifices for the team, and it is up to all of us to stand united as a sovereign nation and to make sure that we show our presence in international football competitions” Mr. Nipo stresses.
Mr. Nipo also says “it is encouraging to acknowledge that while we are looking forward to meeting members of the business community at a breakfast on Saturday 27 March, sponsored by Club Vanuatu, a few business people are already contacting us and making their pledge.”
One of those companies that have made their pledge is the Tropical Rainforest Aromatics, the Port Vila based local producers and exporters of sandalwood, timber and Pacific products.
When handing over a cheque of vt50,000 to Mr. Nipo on Thurday, company Manager Jonathan Naupa said “we feel encouraged to give our support because of the achievement we have made in the Under 17, Under 20 and Under 23 teams… and despite the tough challenge at the 2003 South Pacific Games when we played two strong teams (Fiji and Solomons) in two straight days, we still came back with the bronze medal”.
In thanking Mr. Naupa, VFF CEO Mr. Nipo explained that VFF would make a presentation at the Club Vanuatu this Saturday morning when they host members of the business houses in a continental breakfast.
“We hope to give a clearer picture on our current situation and the targets we aim for in the ongoing national fundraising effort”, he said.
The national fundraising campaign for the Vanuatu World Cup Team was officially launched by Prime Minister Edward Natapei on 15 March 2004.
On 20 March, the former Head of State and President of Vila Town Council of Chiefs Jean-Marie Leye Lenelcau, joined Mr. Natapei in calling on the general public in Port Vila to join in the fundraising effort in support of the national soccer team.