Women’s football is making a steady return in the Pacific following the enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Samoa’s Savai’i 7 Aside tournament will get underway on Saturday, August 1 with a range of age-groups taking part from an U-10 mixed division through to a Premier women’s competition.
The tournament will run until November and feature nine clubs, including two new ones.
Football Federation Samoa Head of Technical Development Tala Salamasina said the Savai’i Island competition was a good chance for players to get back on the field.
“Because we have been in lockdown since March, we aren’t able to have the numbers for an 11 v 11 competition. Therefore, Savai’i will start with the 7 Aside tournament and we will move to the main game next year,” he said.
“Our aim is to have the development of girls running. Three years from now, New Zealand and Australia will host the next FIFA Women’s World Cup and I want at least one or two Savai’i female players that can be part of Samoa’s national women’s team to be part of the qualifying process.”
In Tahiti, their senior women’s league will begin at the end of September and run through until May, while various female age-group competitions will run throughout the country in the coming months.
There’s also a five-team beach soccer competition that is taking place in July and August, plus a 12-team futsal competition in Tahiti with more teams playing in the other islands.
In American Samoa, some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place so the women’s national league will not kickoff until September.
Their summer youth and grassroots leagues for females aged 3-16 that were scheduled to start in July were cancelled.
The Tonga Football Association will host a Challenge Cup for Tongatapu and Vava’u in September and it will run until the end of the year.
In the Solomon Islands, the new SIFF National Women’s League is expected to get underway on Saturday, August 15.
The competition will feature nine or 10 teams with the finishing touches being applied this week.
The clubs scheduled to be involved include Renbel Ibis, Haura FC, Naha FC, Solright FC, Royal Police, Frigates United, Wansol FC, Marist FC, Koloale FC and Bula Frangipani FC.
Architectural and engineering firm Kramer Ausenco became the first business to support the league with sponsorship of SBD$20,000.
Solomon Islands Football Federation Acting Women’s Football Development Officer Antoinette Miniti was grateful the league could generate financial support.
“On behalf of SIFF and the national women’s league board I would like to express our gratitude to Kramer Ausenco for your kind contribution towards this year’s inaugural national women’s league,” Miniti said.
In Vanuatu, the VFF Women’s Independence Cup is taking place, while New Zealand Football (NZF) made a couple of notable announcements this week.
NZF confirmed the National Women’s League will get underway on October 31 and consist of a single round-robin followed by a grand final on the weekend of December 19.
The season will feature teams representing each of the seven football federations: Northern Lights, Auckland, WaiBoP, Central, Capital, reigning champions Canterbury United Pride and Southern United.
They will also operate the Women’s Futsal SuperLeague that will run from February 2021 featuring teams from across the seven football federations.
School and regional club women’s football has been in full swing in New Zealand since June.