President explains delay in Football C.E.O. appointment

The Football Federation Samoa is in no rush to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer, despite the organisation's head resigning from the position more than six months ago. 

The Federation has re-advertised the position with the F.F.S. President, Papali’i Samuel Petaia, claiming they are after the best local talent to oversee the sporting body’s daily operations. 

Former C.E.O. Faumuina Michael Kapisi resigned in March this year in what was described as a “mutual agreement” with the current President. 

A matter involving Faumuina and the former President, Rev. Laupama Tokan Solomona – in relation to a vehicle belong to the organisation – is pending in the Supreme Court.  

But Papali’i said the Board has been challenged to provide results and recruiting the right person to head the Federation is the first step towards achieving that goal. 

The President declined to indicate how many applications have been received for the job with the closing date for expressions of interest scheduled to close October 4. 

However, he did confirm that from the pool of candidates there were women who applied and all applicants are locals. 

“It comes down to picking the right person to lead the organisation,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“We are after the best and we want to see what is out there in the local market to pick the right person to lead. 

“We don’t want to get involved in the same old problems and issues – we want to make some changes.” 

The Federation has opted not to advertise the top position overseas and is determined to promote local talent to occupy the vacancy. 

Papali’i said he is not dwelling in the past and its troubles, and is looking to the future for better days, improvements and development for the sport in the country. 

“It’s not an overnight project and not a one man’s task,” he said about the Federation moving forward. 

“It requires putting together strength from coaches to managers and everyone so we can produce results.” 

This is bearing in mind a challenge from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi early this month for the Federation to deliver positive results. 

Tuilaepa was speaking during the 2019 National Senior Football League competition when he issued the challenge to the F.F.S. officials. 

Remembering 30 years ago when the Government gave the Tuanaimato land to the Federation, Tuilaepa said he has not received any positive results from international matches against countries like Papua New Guinea and Melanesian islands. 

“I challenge the President and Board to work on the development to formulate good results on international tournaments,” said the Prime Minister, before declaring the league officially opened. 

The Prime Minister also made reference to F.F.S. having the best facilities in sports available.

A $1.5 million stadium complex at Tuanaimato was commissioned in July, just in time for the finals of the 2019 XVI Pacific Games football tournament. It was funded by the world football governing body Federation International Football Association (F.I.F.A.).

Those words from the head of Government were not forgotten by Papali’i, who said he was encouraged by the leader, saying the challenge is achievable with the right people on board. 

He added there are projects underway to promote football at grassroot level for rural schools amongst other programmes. 

Acting C.E.O. for the Federation at the moment is Manager for Assets, Saolotoga Pula.  

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