Solomon Islands comeback to defeat Tahiti 6-4 in a thriller and punch their ticket to next year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup.
The team also scores a huge trip to train and play in Spain, one of the two biggest futsal powerhouses, in the lead up to the tournament.
The triumphant Solomon Islands national futsal team have arrived home to a rapturous response after winning the OFC Futsal Championship last week in Fiji.
The Kurukuru touched down at Honiara’s Henderson Airport to the cheers of fans, more than 200 of which had turned out to greet the team. Thousands more lined the streets outside and as the players left the terminal they were presented with flowers, traditional necklaces and handshakes from the fanatical Kurukuru supporters.
Many ran up to the players to have their photographs taken, with inspirational captain Elliot Ragomo a particular favourite amongst the younger generations.
A brief ceremony was held in the airport car park before the team boarded a vehicle for a parade through the town. The parade took more than two hours as the motorcade of 50-plus vehicles wound its way along the main street of Honiara to the rowdy applause of the locals lining the roadside.
At one point, the parade had to be brought to a standstill as people rushed towards the lead vehicle to meet their idols and get a chance to touch the trophy.
Cries of ‘Go Solo Go’ and ‘Go Kurukuru Go’ echoed throughout the streets as the chanting fans expressed their joy at the team’s championship win, which arrived after a 6-4 victory over Tahiti in the grand final on Friday.
Turning back at the west end of the city, the parade ran through Chinatown and Kola’a Ridge before meeting the main road again at Fishing Village. The motorcade then began making its way to the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) headquarters, where the players again posed for photographs with fans before attending a press conference organised to toast their success.
Speaking at the conference, SIFF President Martin Alufurai thanked the players for their hard work and announced that SIFF would very soon begin work on what he called the ‘Home for Kurukuru’, a top-class futsal stadium.
“This team is unique in the sense of their discipline and commitment – these are things that have been missing from our teams for some time,” Alufurai said.
“What they have achieved is for the whole country and the federation thanks them for that. I can announce that work will soon begin on a new futsal stadium here in Honiara and that will be followed by additional development in Auki and Gizo.”
Kurukuru team manager Mapuru Tausinga says the players are happy to be home and are thankful to all the people who have contributed to the success of the team.
“I would like to thank Our Telekom, Nice Bola, DJ Graphics, Lion Heart Plant and Hire, Solomon Airlines and Tausinga Outboard for the support they have given us,” Tausinga said.
“If I have not mentioned you and you know you have helped then this word of appreciation is extended to you as well. Finally, I would like to thank all the citizens of this country for believing in us and for all your prayers.”
The Solomon Islands will now go on to represent Oceania at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012.
Courtesy: Solomon Star News
Kurukuru to train in Spain for World Cup
by Carlos Aruafu
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
The Kurukuru team upon arrival yesterday received the best news ever.
They are in for a chance to visit, play and train in Spain in preparation for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand next year.
This was officially announced by the Solomon Islands Football Federation president vice president Martin Alufurai yesterday during the Kurukuru press conference at the SIFF Academy conference room.
Alufurai said the news came all the way from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) President and FIFA vice president David Chung.
President Chung sent the letter on behalf of the OFC expressing their sincere appreciation for the Kurukuru team and SIFF for winning the OFC futsal championship for the fourth time in a row and making it to the World Cup for the second time.
In the letter Chung stated that OFC is committed to support the Kurukuru team for the World Cup next year.
Also for the support towards the preparations for the World Cup OFC offered a grant of NZ $25000.
In addition, a MOU with royal Spanish football federation will be signed next week to verify the proposed plan.
The signing will take place in Zurich next week for an opportunity for Kurukuru to train play matches and prepare for the FIFA futsal World Cup.
The letter also confirmed that all internal costs will be met by Spanish Football Federation and OFC.
Alufurai after his announcement told the Kurukuru team that now they will be moving on to the world stage which is the next stage.
The SIFF President and General Secretary Eddie Ngava will leave for Zurich to attend the signing with the Spanish Football Federation.
He added that in a few weeks time the new futsal stadium construction will commence to build the new home for futsal in the country.
The aim for the Oceania futsal champions to train in Spain was to further boost their preparation for the World Cup.
Since Spain is the futsal champions of the world, it will be a great chance for the Kurukuru team to learn more from how they play their futsal and help advance the level of futsal in the Solomon Islands and the Oceania region.