Five football clubs in the Samoan island of Savai’i have received new uniforms and equipment from the Football Federation of Samoa (FFS) as part of the FIFA Forward funding programme.

Salelologa Football Club, Vaiafai Football Club, Mckay Football Club of Lalomalava, Sapapalii Football Club and Saipipi Football Club were the grateful recipients of the assistance.

At the official handover of the equipment, FFS President Papalii Samuel Petaia used his keynote address to convey the Federation’s appreciation for the hard work done by clubs and the football community in Savai’i in ensuring the game’s development.

“Without clubs football will not exist and development initiatives supported by the FIFA Forward project cannot be implemented,” he said.

“The FFS wanted to acknowledge the significant contribution and participation of each club in Savai’i and we want to ensure our stakeholders that we offer the same support to Savai’i football clubs as we provide to clubs in Upolu.”

Petaia went on to stress the importance of ensuring a pathway for talent from grassroots to senior level while also making a commitment to invest in infrastructure projects including playing fields needed for training, hosting tournaments and international competitions.

“That is why FFS has acquired land at the Apia Park fields to roll out its new project with the support of the Government. The development of the Apia Park fields will not only lift the standard of football development in Samoa but it also aims to provide much needed state of the art football fields showcasing Samoa’s ability to host international tournaments.”

The President’s sentiments were echoed by the Savai’i Manager and Head of Technical Tala Salamasina.

“We understand the difficulties our people have when trying to organise uniforms and gear for their teams – and we hope that this donation to our teams will go a long way towards encouraging the young players to continue with our sport,” he said.

“I would like to acknowledge the support of the FIFA Forward programme for making this possible.”

The arrival of the uniforms and football equipment was timely for clubs as they prepare for the start of the Savai’i League that’s due to kick off in a few weeks.