Oceania Football

New beach soccer event in Solomon Islands

The tournament was jointly organised by the Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Malaita’s Ward 16 and the Minister for Women, Youths, and Sports Preston Billy, alongside a Local Organising Committee (LOC).

The LOC said other beach games would be held beside the beach soccer championship.

There are 21 teams from central, east and north Malaita confirmed to participate in the tournament, the first of its kind in the Solomon Islands.

OFC Futsal Nations Cup kicks off today in Noumea

Defending champions Solomon Islands will play the tournament opener against Tonga and will be keen to stamp their authority on the competition as they seek to qualify for their fourth consecutive FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Solomons coach Vinicius Laite told OFC media they had been training hard for the tournament and were champing at the bit to take to the court against the Tonga.

"We are going to respect [Tonga] as we are going to respect every other team that we are going to verse.

Oceania Football to benefit from proposed World Cup changes

The revamped tournament would include a guaranteed slot for Oceania for the first time, 16 places for Europe - up from 13 - and a six-team inter-zonal play-off tournament for two more spots.

Currently the winner of the Oceania confederation must play the fifth-placed South American side for a place at the tournament.

New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said they've been lobbying for such changes for years.

Oceania Football no longer a minnow

Oceania will now receive two berths at men's age grade tournaments from 2017.

The region created history at this year's Men's Under 20 World Cup with hosts New Zealand reaching the quarter finals and Fiji upsetting Honduras in the group stage.

Rajesh Patel says Oceania officials have been trying to secure an extra berth for a long time and he says Fiji's impressive World Cup showing proved the region is no longer a minnow.