Football on the Solomon Islands
Football is by far the most popular sport on these 962 islands that are split into ten different regions. In 2001, their U-15 team was invited for the first time to take part in the Milk Cup in Ireland and the Liverpool Knowsley Cup in England. They were very successful. Some of their players have managed to turn professional with clubs in the Australian National League. Their best-known players are Dummins Menapi (Sydney United), Henry Luito Fa'arodo (Melbourne Knights) and Bartrum Suri (with top clubs in Tahiti, Fiji and Australia - including the Football Kingz based in Auckland, New Zealand). No doubt more talent will be discovered as a result of the development work being pursued in the youth sector.
The first Goal Project
The Solomon Islands were originally chosen as one of eleven pilot projects for the Goal Programme. FIFA ambassador Sir Bobby Charlton (England) officially reopened the renovated Lawson Tama Stadium in August 2001. He kicked off the friendly match between two local youth teams organised to mark the occasion. It was a very special day and, after the final whistle, all 3,000 spectators ran onto the field - not for Sir Bobby Charlton's autograph, but to feel and stroke the new pitch for themselves.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Renovation of Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara
Project approved
Pilot project
Opened on 20 August 2001
Financed by
Goal USD 635,000 FAP USD 33,000 Total cost USD 668,000