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OFC BOOSTS AUCKLAND SAMOA PASEFIKA CUP

AUCKLAND – Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) General Secretary Tai Nicholas has confirmed that the governing body for football in Oceania will sponsor the Auckland Samoa Soccer Association’s 2009 Pasefika Cup and the inaugural Wahine Toa o le Pasefika Women’s Football Tournament.

The women’s installment kicks off on 28 February at Riverside Park in Avondale, with the 2009 Pasefika Cup to follow at the same venue on 7 March.

Nicholas said the sponsorship of the Pasefika Cup made sense for OFC with so many multi-ethnic teams from the region involved and he praised the Auckland Samoa Soccer Association for the addition of a women’s tournament.

“The Pasefika Cup is a fantastic tournament that helps draw the pacific community together and we fully support the introduction of a women’s tournament,” Nicholas said.

“Women play a strong role within the family structure in Oceania but the opportunity to express themselves on the football pitch is sometimes limited by cultural values. The Pasefika Cup helps provide an opportunity for women’s football development and the OFC is delighted to give our support to this event.”

According to the Secretary of Auckland Samoa Soccer, John Hellesoe, the tournament was the brainchild of President Leota Moroga Mamea and the Executive Committee.

“The Auckland Samoa Soccer Executive Committee view football as the number one sport in the Oceania region and we believe the 2009 Pasefika Cup will help raise awareness of this in New Zealand and in our pacific communities,” Hellesoe said.

“We want to build on the success of last year’s tournament and showcase the silky football skills of all our participants. OFC has played an important role in the Pasefika Cup and we are delighted to see that continue.”

New Samoa Football Soccer Federation (SFSF) CEO Colin Tuaa says the 2009 Pasefika Soccer Cup is an opportunity to showcase football in local communities in South Auckland for whom rugby union or rugby league has a strong popularity.

“It’s easy for most neutrals to believe that other sports codes hold sway in the hearts and minds of Pacific Islanders given the television exposure of rugby and league but football has a strong grip in Oceania, particularly in some regions such as Melanesia,” Tuaa said.

“The Pasefika Soccer Cup draws in teams from everywhere – Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands – which is positive for football and for local players who can show their abilities, celebrate their culture and make new friends.”

PFL Cargo and Samoa Tourism have joined Oceania Football Confederation in promoting the competitions and Auckland Samoa Soccer is still actively seeking partners to help stage the event and gain further public exposure.

The 2009 Pasefika Soccer Cup at Riversdale Reserve, Avondale, starts on 7 March, 2009.

The Wahine Toa o le Pasefika Cup starts on 28 February, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Priscilla Duncan

Oceania Football Confederation

Media and Communications

T: +649-526-5651

F: +649-525-8164

M: +64 (0)21 884 018

E: [email protected]

Gordon Glen Watson

Oceania Football Confederation

Media and Communications

T: +649-526-5654

F: +649-525-8164

M: +64 (0)21 994 520

E: [email protected]

Auckland Samoa Soccer Association

Secretary John Hellesoe

M: 0272709355

E: [email protected]

W: www.aucklandsamoasoccer.com

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