15 Aug 2002

Solomon Islands feels backlash from other Melanesian countries over recent FIFA meeting

10:47 am on 15 August 2002

The Solomon Islands is feeling the backlash of other Melanesian countries, by not supporting candidates from their region at a recent FIFA Confederation meeting in Auckland.

Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia have agreed not to hold the annual Melanesian Cup football tournament in the Solomon Islands from September 7-11.

The Solomon Islands Football Association has confirmed that the tournament has been cancelled.

At the Auckland meeting, the Solomon Island delegates decided not to vote for candidates from their region, but rather for those from Australia, and Tonga.

It's been revealed that PNG, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu had wanted representatives from Melanesia, but the Solomon Islands failure to vote with their neighbours resulted in the candidates from Vanuatu and Fiji losing the election.

Australia's Basil Scarsella was relected as President, while Tonga's Ahungalu Fusimalohi was chosen as OFC FIFA representative.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu's failed candidate John Tinsley Lulu offered to host the Melanesian Cup tournament in Vanuatu, but Solomon Islands Football says it will have to wait until 2004 because of the South Pacific Games next year.