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OFC offers support to Tonga

Widespread destruction has been caused by Tropical Cyclone Gita in Tonga. Credit: John Pulu/Agence France-Presse

The Oceania Football Confederation is reaching out to the Tonga Football Association in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita which left a trail of destruction in its path.

The Category 4 cyclone made landfall in Tonga on Monday evening with winds of up to 233 km/h slamming the south coast of Tongatapu, bringing down electricity lines, flattening parts of Parliament House and causing significant damage to homes and crops across the island.

OFC President David Chung said the thoughts and prayers of the Confederation are with the people of Tonga.

“We are in contact with TFA through the President Lord Ve’ehala, who has said the TFA staff are all accounted for and unharmed,” Chung said.

“Now we are making an assessment of the damage to the football facilities and how people are affected before we offer assistance.”

The OFC Just Play Emergency Programme, which the Confederation delivers in conjunction with partners UNICEF, Australian Aid, NZ Aid and the UEFA Foundation for Children, is on standby.

Once an outline of the damage has been received a report will be provided to FIFA to establish whether football’s international governing body can assist with the rehabilitation process.

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