The year 2007 ended off on a high note for the football loving population of Tahiti as floodlights were added to the Technical Centre of the Tahitian Football Federation in the capital city of Papeete.
OFC President Reynald Temarii thanked FIFA for its continuing commitment to develop football around the world and said he believed that the new floodlight component added the prospects for youngsters in the region. He also paid tribute to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter for his vision in creating the FIFA Goal Programme.
1998 FIFA World Cup France™ winners Christian Karembeu and Lionel Charbonnier were on hand for the occasion and unveiled a commemorative plaque. Temarii said he hoped that young players would be able to use the new facilities to reach the level of Karembeu, who originates from the French Polynesian island of New Caledonia.
Charbonnier believes that French Polynesia has many players with the potential to be top footballers and the new floodlights would contribute in the push to polish some rough edges. The former goalkeeper, who is now the Tahiti Football Federation's Technical Director, said: "On some of the islands in French Polynesia the playing surfaces and conditions are difficult and I am amazed the players cope so well."
Karembeu was optimistic that the facility would ensure that future French-Polynesian footballers would be able to train and learn in an environment that could be "a nursery where dreams begin for youngsters who hope to play football at the highest level."
He also reminisced about his younger years. "When I grew up in Lifou, New Caledonia, I could not imagine a venue such as this to play football," he said.