OFC President David Chung made an historic visit to Tonga at the weekend, travelling to Vava’u for the first time to check on the progress of the regional technical centre.
The new regional technical centre will include an administration office, changing room block, toilet block and one natural playing field in the village of Makave.
Tonga Football President, Lord Ve’ehala and General Secretary, Lui ‘Aho accompanied President Chung to Vava’u to witness that the dream as it becomes reality thanks to FIFA funding for the ambitious infrastructure project which will serve the growth of football in Vava’u.
It is a very joyous moment for the executive members and staff of Vava’u Football to welcome the OFC President for the first time in history to the Lolo‘a Halaevalu.
Vava’u Football vice-president, Mr. Sione Tuionetoa Latu, expressed a warm welcome to the president of the regional football body, extending the gratitude and appreciation of the association to President Chung for making time to visit their shores.
“At the moment, the people of Vava’u are talking about football as they witness the commencement of construction, and I can assure you, the number of Vava’u people playing football will increase,” Latu said.
“We hope your first visit to Vava’u will be a remarkable one, and also we wish to welcome you back again to our island anytime.”
President Chung is pleased that the construction is underway and will carry out accordingly.
“I think you are doing a very good job, and I urge you to create and invest in even more football activities especially for the youth,’’ said Chung.
“Today I don’t see any rugby activities here. This is the best time for you to create more football activities and start building from there,’’ he added.
“It is a good idea to create fun football so you can bring more communities in to start with small sided games, futsal, beach soccer then elite soccer. Look at the example of Just Play and it’s festival, and that will bring more youth to participate.’’
President Chung stressed how vital education is in developing football.
“We are all aiming to grow football and create quality players. The OFC Education Centre has launched here in Tonga, and we look forward to hearing what improvements it can have on programmes here.
Tonga Football is one of many member associations that approved to be benefitted under the FIFA Forward, and this is a huge news for Vava’u as a small island, and of course it will assist in terms of promoting football through out Tonga.
Kramer Ausenco Tonga Limited is in charge of the project and had advised construction will be completed in October this year.
President Chung flew back to New Zealand on Saturday night upon completion of his one day visit to Vava’u.