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New leaders of the pack

Taking over the reins after the passing of the late President Savae Togia Toetu Petana, Laupama was initially elected as Vice President of the Football Federation in 2011. He is the only surviving member of the Normalization Committee, who were responsible for rectifying the FFS after the issues faced by the Federation in 2008.
Reverend Solomona’s involvement in football stems from his childhood, having played for the Sogi soccer club as a young boy. With a long history in football, there is no doubt that he has got the aptitude to take the game to the next level. “My aim is to develop the quality of football here in Samoa so that we are competitive within Oceania and beyond. To achieve this, we need to re-establish networks with players and clubs abroad, to help us improve the level of football played here”, says the Acting President. He also believes “giving the game to the people” in rural areas will increase the selection pool when scouting for our national team.
Financial stability is another area which Solomona wants to focus on, keeping a close eye on funds after the normalization period. He highlights the importance of support from local businesses to help develop football in Samoa. “In order to be a major competitor against other sports in Samoa especially rugby, we need assistance from local businesses whether it be through sponsorship of our tournaments or cross promotion”, states Reverend Solomona.
The Reverend’s step up to Acting President until the next election in 2015 left a vacancy on the Executive Board, which has now been filled by President of the Lepea Soccer Club, Siueva Auelua. Newly appointed CEO Faumuina Michael Kapisi will take the lead next week after the departure of long serving FFS CEO Sarai Bareman. “Sarai’s great work has been an asset to the Federation. She has left for personal reasons and I wish her all the best”, says Reverend Solomona.
Michael has a strong football background, as a player and executive with Moaula Soccer Club. After working for the Ministry of Finance for almost ten years, he is ready for a new challenge. “I’m very honoured and excited about the new role. I’ll be doing something that I love and I look forward to developing the youth of Samoa, who are the future of the game”, says the avid football follower.
With an impressive leadership team taking over the wheel, rest assured football in Samoa will progress to greater heights. Bareman states “It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to the football family in Samoa but it is also with great confidence, knowing that Rev Laupama and Michael will be leading the Federation. Football has come a long way in the past four years, I am very proud of what we have achieved and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”