The Football Federation of American Samoa appealed to players, referees, fans and officials throughout the country to help praise and
promote the spirit of fair play on FIFA Fair Play. The idylic setting of the New National Headquarters at Pago Park on Wednesday 19th September was again resplendent
in the warm Samoa sunshineas part of the International Day of Peace.
FIFA Fair Play Day was celebrated in conjunction with the Department of Education Elementary School League which has a record entry of
27 schools this year totalling 54 boys and girls teams. This equates to over 1000 players.
Special guests at the event included the Director of Education Dr Claire Poumele, DOE Deputy Director Mr Philo Jennings AND
Assistant Director for Elementary Division Mr Tuumolimoli Moliga. Principal of A.P. Lutalia Elementary Mr Siauini Taala gave the opening prayers representing the other three
school principals who joined the large crowd to witness a wonderful and enjoyable afternoon of football.
The day started with a march past to the FIFA Anthem followed by the stadium announcement of the Fair Play Day by Maselino Tautu
and the Fair Play declarations by the captains of the schools participating on the day.
Department of Education Director Dr Calire Poumele who made the keynote address gave special remarks to the children, regarding
the values of Fair Play whilst also congratulating the association efforts, FIFA and OFC in developing the local youth at all levels.
To close the ceremony all 120 children conducted a prematch handshake followed by one huge group photo. 4 exciting games between the
schools from A.P. Lutali, Matatula, Masefau and Olomoana concluded and crowned a great day for Football.
For the eleventh year running FIFA is holding the World Fair Play Days to coincide with the United Nations
International Day of Peace (21 September), an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities around the world. The world governing body will also devote the quarter-final
matches of the FIFA World Women’s World Cup in the Chinese cities of Tianjin and Wuhan on 22 and 23 September to a special activity on the pitch which will be broadcast to 200 territories across
all six confederations. Shortly before kick-off at those particular games, both team captains will read a declaration to support fair play on the pitch and in society. As part of this statement,
the players will also pledge support for the FIFA and UNICEF “Goals for Girls!” campaign and its two important goals of empowering women and guaranteeing access to school for all
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter unequivocally stressed FIFA’s commitment to fair play as a far-reaching means of demonstrating
responsibility both on and off the pitch: “We acknowledge the prominent role of sport and especially of football as a vehicle for delivering clear and firm messages to eradicate the major ills
affecting society around the world. As the most popular sport, football is a universal language that can help bridge all social divides. Although fair play is a principle that applies all year
round, the FIFA Fair Play Days give the football family the opportunity to celebrate fair play in a special way and to recognise and highlight the best examples of sportsmanship from the
year. Holding these events in conjunction with the International Day of Peace thus creates the perfect complement for essential peace-building programmes worldwide.”
FIFA has invited all of its 208 member associations to join in the celebrations by gathering around a football pitch, highlighting the
values of fair play and reminding the football family of the meaning of peace and the need for commitment to its realisation. FIFA has celebrated Fair Play Days since 1997 and this year is the
fourth time that the events will be linked to the International Day of Peace. In previous years, activities have been held in dozens of countries around the world, from grassroots to top-flight
football, including many community-based projects.
Throughout the year FIFA acknowledges teams’ behaviour on and off the pitch in each of its competitions by awarding the FIFA Fair Play
Trophy, medals and diplomas as well as a cheque for the purchase of adidas equipment for youth teams. In addition, the annual FIFA Fair Play Award at the FIFA World Player Gala held yearly in
December honours outstanding gestures of fair play. For further information, please visit the official FIFA website, www.FIFA.com.