American Samoa – Emotional Day
First arnd foremost among rhese advantages is the iact that due to the success of the FIFA Goal project at Pago Pago Park, tootball is the only sport on the island that begins at grassroots level, enabling children and parents to attend matches as part of a family process. No other sport has such an organised structure until high school. Supapo says the idea of family participation ties in strongly with the American Samoan culture itself, where community and spending time together are intrinsic values: “Football is very popular amongst children and parents alike and there is a cultural appeal that families in American Samoa can easily identify with. Sports like baseball and American football don’t have that”
Supapo says the opening of Pago Pago Stadium was by far her most emotional day after two vears at the helm of the ASFA as it was then, and she will bear no malice if one day she finds herself no longer involved in football. For a country that did not have a venue for eleven-a-side football until recently, the positive effect cannot be understated. American Samoa even participated in FIFA’s Fair Play Day, with hundreds of children gathering to acknowledge that football is not just about winning or results – it is about understanding the spirit in which football is played.