The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is set to launch a profound restructure of football for the entire South Pacific region worth an estimated US$12 million over a 12 year period from 2007-2018.
The programme called “OFC vision” is the brainchild of OFC President and FIFA vice president Reynald Temarii and is aimed at building the Pacific community by using football as a tool to develop nations.
“I see the key element of the `OFC vision’ being the education and empowerment of our youth to become self sufficient, unified, responsible and involved citizens. The number of youths in the South Pacific aged 0-20 will increase from 5.5 million to 6.8 million by 2018 and I believe football can help address many of the key social issues facing these youngsters in the coming years,” Temarii says.
The 12 year development plan will be broken into three four year phases. The first four year phase – entitled “Win in Oceania With Oceania” – will focus on 15 key areas of football administration and technical development such as grassroots football, developing National League football, World Cup preparation camps, professionalizing of football, Information Technology, Media and Marketing, Sports Medicine, Infrastructure, Tournament hosting, Football for Hope, Women’s Football, Refereeing, Coaching, Beach Soccer and Futsal.
“This project is designed to build a legacy for the young people of Oceania to inherit and it is my determination to ensure the whole Oceania region benefits. The potential of our beautiful game to tackle these key social issues such as health, community building, and youth education, reinforce peace and encourage nation building is unlimited.
When you see 18,000 fans turn up to watch one of our O-League games in the Solomon Islands or 15,000 turn up in Fiji, or the positive effect of football in the reconciliation process in war torn regions such as Bougainville, you know you have the basis for a strong community.
But the people of our community face terrible problems such as Malaria in Solomon Islands, AIDS and poverty in Papua New Guinea, child obesity in Tonga and Samoa; Education is an issue across the board in Oceania, too.
This is a community we must strive to build peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity and football can help. Our game has a social responsibility that we cannot forget,” Temarii said.
The “OFC Vision” has won support from FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter who was on hand to formally announce the project at the OFC Congress in Papua New Guinea in January 2007.
The Oceania Football Confederation has set July 2007 as the date for full implementation of the “OFC Vision”.