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Futsal court bears brunt of storm

The damage sustained to the Tonga Football Association futsal court during Cyclone Gita.

The main island of Tongatapu has been left devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita and the winds of up to 230km/h and at the Tonga Football Association headquarters significant damage has been caused around the property and left the futsal court destroyed.

Tonga FA staff were concerned about the damages sustained by the court and also to the surrounding building.

“I could not believe what has happened to the futsal court when I drove in to check after TC Gita left Tonga,’’ TFA CEO Lui ‘Aho said.

“The red and the blue tiles on top of the court were all rolled to one side of the court and hung over the fence, and it seemed like something that was done deliberately by a group of constructions the other night, but that was actually done by Gita,” ‘Aho added.

“There was only one goal post found inside the court, and the other one was found 400 metres away from the court and it’s badly damaged.”

Futsal is still in its infancy in Tonga, but the competition hosted by Tonga Football last year attracted more new teams to try the game. The futsal court was built as part of Tonga Football’s fourth FIFA Goal Project.

“We must now move the futsal competition that was scheduled for March this year because of the aftermath of this strong and terrible TC Gita and the cleanup and repairs required,” said ‘Aho.

Apart from the futsal court damage, six goalposts were twisted and broke down and they were lying in different locations. The electricity and water is still down at the home of football due to debris blocking roads and many downed power lines.

The staff of Tonga Football all survived unharmed despite some of their roofs sustaining damage or being ripped off, and homes flooded.

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