Oceania Football optimistic over COVID calendar

The OFC Executive Committee approved a number of changes last week in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the OFC Champions League and a handful of youth tournaments all pushed back to a later date.

Competitions Director Chris Kemp hoped the new schedule would stick but admitted it was something out of their control.

Samoa’s Lupe o le Soaga Football to face Pacific’s best

The squad that hails from the proud village of Magiagi were once again crowned Samoa Football Federation champions when the league was halted early due to the recent measles epidemic.

Lupe o le Soaga were awarded the championship in late November with a 14 win, 2 loss record.

Coach Paul Ualesi said “It was a close fought league this year. Teams like Kiwi FC and Vaipuna put up a good challenge, but our boys experience, dedicated training ethic and team spirit were factors that enabled us to succeed”.

Young Samoan footballer eyes Oceania championship League trophy

On 20 January, Te’o and the rest of the national football team will leave Samoa to compete in the tournament in New Zealand.

The 23-year-old told Loop Samoa correspondent, Talaia Mika that his goal is to bring the trophy back to home.

Mr Te’o said his village and country have inspired his career in football.

“I intended to dream big when I was a little child watching my role models in football take home victory and made their people and countries proud,” he said.

Lafita keeps fingers crossed for football referees selection

He will be attending the meeting for the confirmation of the selected names.

"Today we will know who will be picked to be one of the referees at the Pacific Games. And I am ready for it," said Lafita.

The businessman has been a local football referee for almost five years now.

The Vaiala native is grateful they are hosting the games this year.

"The games will create alot of opportunities in Samoa. And we are proud to be hosting this year."

Lagita also runs a stall at the flee market and is expecting the business to bloom this year.

Power of sport inspires football volunteer

Lynetta Laumea-Edward will be volunteering to help with the smooth running of football at the Games. She is the project manager for the Football Federation Samoa’s Just Play, a grassroots programme promoting physical activity for primary-aged children while encouraging community involvement and healthy living.

The 35-year-old scored Samoa’s first senior women’s international goal – in the 77th-minute against Cook Islands in 2003.

Pacific Games rematch could decide a semi-finalist

But all eyes will be on the rematch of the 2011 and 2015 Pacific Games final which has seen Papua New Guinea twice edge their opponents New Caledonia for the gold medal.

The final which hurt the most was the 2011 edition which was played in New Caledonia, and while the bid for revenge in 2015 was unsuccessful, captain Celine Xolawawa remains optimistic about her side’s chances this time around.

PNG U19 squad announced

The Championship will be held from August 5 to August 18.

Except for new inclusion in Stahl Gubag, Joseph Wawai, Laventine Munuo and Cameron Nuabi, coach Harrison Kamake has retained the bulk of his U-17 team that participated in the OFC U-17 Championship in Tahiti last year. 

The team did well by qualifying for the OFC U-17 Championship semi-final for the first time in the nation’s history and lost to New Zealand.

Samoa U 16 ready for OFC meet

The team will be representing Samoa in the upcoming OFC U-16 Men’s Championship in Tonga from the 14 – 20 July 2018.

Tamasese shared that his team are well prepared as their team have been training from November 2017. “Our team is well prepared and ready to take on the championship. They boys cannot wait to play. The selected players all play in the premier league division which is the highest level of football in Samoa, he said”

Iranian women sneak into football games dressed as men

Donning beards and wigs, they disguised themselves as men so they could watch their team, Persepolis, play rivals Sepidrood at the Azadi stadium in Tehran last Friday.

Images of the women at the stadium have been widely shared on both Persian and English social media.

Although there's no official ban on women going to sporting events in Iran, it is rare for them to attend as they are often refused entry.

Prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979, women were allowed to attend sporting events.

Women have been punished for attending games in the past.

Brazilian great Kaka announces retirement from football

Kaka, who played most of his career at AC Milan and Real Madrid, revealed his decision in an interview with the Brazilian O Globo channel.

The attacking midfielder won the Italian Serie A with Milan and the 2007 Champions League and collected league and cup titles with Real. He also won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, who he was capped for 92 times from 2002 to 2016, and the Ballon d'Or as best player in the world in 2007.

He was the last player to win the award before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo began their decade-long duopoly at the top of the game.