17 Oct 2013

Sport: Interim committee takes charge of Solomon Islands Football

6:13 pm on 17 October 2013

An interim committee has taken over the running of the Solomon Islands Football Federation.

The establishment of the 'normalisation committee' was approved by FIFA last week and comes after the Solomons approached the Oceania Football Confederation for help earlier this year.

The General Secretary of Oceania Football, Tai Nicholas, told Vinnie Wylie the old administration has resigned after struggling to manage a shortfall in funding.

TAI NICHOLAS: It's important that we make sure that the money that is invested is accounted for and is spent in the right places. The problem, currently, in the Solomon Islands is there's a whole lot of international and domestic activity which has overtaken the amount of funds that were available. What we have to do is work with FIFA to install a normalisation committee. This is an interim committee of a cross-section of the football community, who will be able to look into the administration and improve the way that football is being administrated in the Solomon Islands.

VINNIE WYLIE: In terms of any concerns the OFC may have had about the management and how that was the case, when did that first come about? When did you guys approach FIFA about possibly making some changes?

TN: At the beginning of this year the Solomons came to us with the lack of financial resources that they had presently to take into account the amount of activity that was involved. What happens is that in order to get money or funds from FIFA or OFC, you have to account for your last amount of money from last year. So because these reports weren't regular, in order for us to help football in a country like the Solomons, the best way forward is to ask the current administration to resign and to install a new interim administration to take over and reform the process of the administration. And hopefully a new football administration will be installed before the end of next year. And if you can see, the committee is made up of a combination of government and private sector members who have volunteered their time to look at the reform process of Solomon Islands football and get it back on track.

VW: There's no suggestion here of misappropriation or mismanagement of funds. It's just a matter of having people to come in and make sure all the reports are there and that all the financial expenditure is detailed and there to be seen, basically.

TN: Yeah, we had an OFC Ethics Committee enquiry and we had a look at the management. It was more the lack of better financial management of both the resources and the income. All the stakeholders in the Solomons wanted to have a more transparent way that the funds were neutralised. The problem we're having across the Pacific where there are not enough funds to cater for all the different activities. I think, if anything, the previous administration were guilty of trying to do too much with a limited amount of funds. So what we want to do is install a new administration and focus on some priorities and maybe more focus on developing football domestically across the province and nationally before they get to the international stage.