Pacific futsal fans will soon get to see some of the region’s best players in action as part of the 2024 PacificAus Sports Futsal Series, hosted in Honiara by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
On 9 February, SIFF CEO, Leonard Paia, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Lindsay Buckingham, announced the launch of this year's tournament, a three-match series that sees the Kurukuru futsal team of the Solomon Islands take on the Australian Futsalroos.
The international friendlies are the latest in a growing schedule of events between SIFF and Football Australia, a flourishing partnership that has strong support from the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports.
“Australia and the Solomon Islands have a close and enduring friendship and a shared passion for sport,” said Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP. “The Australian Government is proud to partner with Football Australia to support the Futsalroos to take part in this three-match series.”
Three days of elite-level action at Friendship Hall
The series will be played at the newly built Friendship Hall, an impressive multisport venue that played an important role in the 2023 Pacific Games, hosted by the Solomon Islands. The Australian team will be fielding some of its most experienced players, while the Kurukurus will be using these games to give some promising young futsal players their first opportunity to play at an elite level.
“We are very excited to host this historical tour of the mighty Futsalroos here in Honiara,” said Mr Paia. “As a mad futsal nation in the Pacific region, it is highly anticipated that the 2024 edition of the PacificAus Sports International Futsal series will give futsal fans in and around the country a taste of world-class futsal brilliance from the Futsalroos against our young development Kurukuru team.”
Building on strong foundations
The Futsalroos previously hosted the Kurukuru in Sydney, Australia, in 2023, in the inaugural PacificAus Sports Futsal Series.
Other activities supported by PacificAus Sports in the Solomon Islands include the 2019 tour of the Westfield Junior Matildas, a team that included talented young players now competing in the Australian A-League Women competition and the English Women's Super League.
Outside of football, athletes from the two countries most recently competed at the 2023 Pacific Games, with the Solomon Islands ultimately collecting a total of 80 medals, to Australia’s 84.
Australian High Commissioner Rod Hilton also noted the contribution set to be made by Australia’s regional sport for development program, Team Up, which launched in the Solomon Islands in November 2023.
“The development of all elite athletes starts at the grassroots,” he said. “Australia is proud to be partnering with Solomon Islands to develop the next generation of Solomon Islands sports stars.”
The 2024 PacificAus Sports Futsal Series takes place 21-25 February 2024. Tickets will be available at the SIFF Academy Office from 12 February 2024, and games will be live-streamed via the SIFF Facebook page.
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