October 1, 2023

TIFA President on participating in OFC tournaments: “The desire to compete is there”

Tuvalu are hoping to take part in OFC tournaments, but money is an issue.

TIFA President Soseala Tinilau (centre) ahead of Tuvalu’s game against Tamil Eelam at the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup (Photo credit: Ola Bjerkevoll)

The Oceania Football Confederation have previously said they have not heard from Tuvalu or Kiribati regarding taking part in OFC competitions, since the two became active Associate Members again, last year.

Tuvalu Islands Football Association President Soseala Tinilau tells Football in Oceania that they would like to take part, but that it is a question of funding.

“Tuvalu teams will have to cover airfares, accommodation, and meals if we decide to take part in OFC competitions. So, it is very expensive to take part in OFC competitions,” he says.

But for those thinking they may never see a Tuvalu side at an OFC tournament, there might be a solution.

“I think we can take part in Futsal competitions as this usually takes place in Fiji but for Champions League competitions, we need to be financially stable in order to compete in those competitions. The desire to compete is there but we need money for airfares, accommodation, and meals.”

OFC funds flights

Football in Oceania asked OFC for a comment about funding teams taking part in OFC competitions, and it seems Tinilau may have one less thing to worry about when it comes to costs.

“OFC organises and funds all flights for clubs participating in the OFC Champions League, including the Qualifying Stage,” an OFC spokesperson tells Football in Oceania.

“OFC has increased its funding in 2021 and 2022 to all Member Associations and Associate Members through the OFC Development Programme. This contributes to any financial support needed by teams or clubs participating in all OFC tournaments.”

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