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New Football chief has work cut out for him

The new Football Federation of Samoa (F.F.S.) Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), Seve Dr. Folototo Seve, was introduced to the media at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Federation had been without a permanent C.E.O. since Faumuina Michael Kapisi resigned in March 2019.

President Papali’i Leslie Petaia understood why there had been questions about the time taken to appoint a replacement.

“The simple answer is that we’ve been patient in the process, and we had to go through the proper formalities in terms of finding the right person,” he said.

Seve left the National University of Samoa for the role, where he had worked for 15 years, most recently as Dean for Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship.

During his three year contract with F.F.S., he hopes to grow the game in Samoa, and boost the country’s standing internationally.

“Before we even get to that we need to improve our current administration and processes,” he said.

“It all starts in-house with the systems and administration.”

Previous C.E.O. Faumuina Michael Kapisi was charged with theft as a servant in May 2019, soon after resigning from F.F.S.

Seve Dr Folotolo Seve said in an F.F.S. statement that his priority in taking the job is ensuring financials and administration are in order.

“Ensuring that there are policies in place, all FFS assets are properly accounted for as well as addressing audit issues are some of my priorities at this point in time,” he said in the statement.

Papali’i said long-term goals like national teams improving and getting players contracts overseas won’t just happen overnight, but the systems and structures will make them achievable.

“I believe this is the start, I believe with having the right people on board, I believe with having the right structures in place, I believe there is a lot for the Football Federation of Samoa to achieve,” he said, pointing to Samoa’s 2019 Pacific Games silver in the women’s tournament as evidence.

For Seve, the first non-administrative steps towards that future are in distributing the sport more widely.

“Soccer doesn’t go out as far as rugby, into the rural areas,” he said.

“We want to increase our population of registered players and teams, and that’s something we can achieve in a year.”

Seve also said F.F.S. want to see more Samoans picking up scholarships for young players to head overseas.

“Opportunities for young players to achieve, not only in their playing aspirations, but also academically.”

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