Football in Tonga
Although football comes only second after the all-pervasive sport of rugby union in Tonga, it is all the rage among the island's younger population. It is very likely that football will overtake rugby union in the next few years. Tonga's greatest football triumph to date was their triumph in the first ever Polynesian Cup held in 1993 with victory over Samoa and the Cook Islands. Although local players have not yet made their mark on big leagues abroad, the Chief Executive of the Tonga Football Association, 'Ahongalu Fusimalohi, was appointed to the FIFA Executive Committee in 2002. The Tonga association is the only sports organisation on the island that employs full-time administrative and football staff.
The first Goal Project
The first flagstone on the site incorporating the football school and pitches approved by Goal in Nuku'alofa on Tongatapu was laid during the 17th Ordinary OFC Congress on 21 May 2002. The presence of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the King of Tonga, His Majesty Taufa'Ahau Tupou IV, at the ceremony was an event that the islanders will never forget. As the island's keenest sportsman and most avid football fan, the King himself donated 26 acres of land to ensure the complex would be built. The Oceania Football Confederation also contributed a handsome amount to realise the construction of the football school, which was opened in summer 2004. The objectives to be implemented with the help of the new amenities are to conduct programmes especially designed to promote youth and women's football and to train experts in a wide range of football-specific subjects.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
National training centre with NA headquarters and four pitches in Nukualofa
Project approved
4 March 2002
Opened on 29 May 2004
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 13,237 Government Land Total cost USD 413,237