There is a great need to develop football in Savai’i.
This was highlighted at the Youth National Football League held at Football Federation Samoa (F.F.S.) fields in Iva Faasaleleaga, Savai’i.
Forty-eight teams are competing in the ongoing tournament, which started on 16th June. The age groups competing are from Under 10 and 13 mixed, Under 17 boys and girls, Under 20 boys and girls.
Manager of the Football Federation Samoa in Savaii, Fonomaitu Sam Falute said: “The main focus was the development of our youths in football. It was also to unify the youths. At the moment there is nothing going on in Savaii, football matches are the only sports held every Saturday.
“At the moment we are running our Just Play programme in all the high schools, but right now schools are on break.
“I just want to add that famous saying that whatever is good for Upolu is also good for Savaii.
“I know that we cannot compare in terms of skills set with Upolu for football so at the moment we are in the progress of development,” said Fonomaitu.
“Maybe by the end of two years we could achieve that but my other goal is to have a football player from Savaii play in Samoa’s national team.”
Fonomaitu highlighted the difficulty of trying to involve the Village Councils.
“If they (Village Council) say no to not having a football club then that is the final decision. Getting the community involved is really important. Most of them still have that mindset that rugby is still more important out of all sports and so all the support goes there.
“Even though rugby is still the favorite sport here, along with the Samoan cricket, but that is why football is still at an early stage of development,” he added.