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OFC President pays visit

President Temarii and the delegation – which also included OFC deputy general secretary Greg Larsen and FIFA development officer Glenn Turner – were welcomed with an ava ceremony on Monday morning at the Head of State’s resident in Apia.
His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi hosted the ceremony while deputy prime minister Misa Telefoni was also in attendance. President Temarii got the chance to discuss football with His Highness and learned that he enjoyed watching the FIFA World Cup from South Africa.
“His Highness is not a regular fan of football but, through watching the World Cup, he and his wife became more interested in the game,” Temarii says.
“I loved the FIFA World Cup,” His Highness says. “It allowed me to learn about strategies, how teams were moving and keeping other players away from their goal.”
Temarii also met with FFS staff and was impressed with the progress being made on football in Samoa.
“I see real progress in terms of management,” he says. “The technical centre is well maintained so I am really happy about this. What we need to do now is develop more football activities for the kids. We also need to implement more effective coaching and refereeing courses.”
On the television coverage across Samoa of the FIFA World Cup 2010, Temarii explained: “One of our main targets is to bring the game to families through media coverage. All of the World Cup games were shown in 13 countries in the Pacific region, compared to 2006 when four countries received the same coverage.”
The possibility of Samoa putting in a bid to host games during the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 was also discussed. Temarii says this would be a great coup for FFS and would give Samoa great exposure on the world stage.
“It would be fantastic if 21,000 people at Apia Park could see a team from Spain, Brazil or England participating at the World Cup.”
Hosting such an exceptional event in Samoa meets President Temarii’s vision to leave a legacy for all the OFC member associations in the Pacific. It would also be in full agreement with the Head of State’s viewpoint.
“Sport, and in particular football, is about people, how it develops people,” His Highness says.