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OFC – December 2008

Women’s youth football took centre stage at Paita as the New Caledonian football association’s (FCF) FIFA Goal project was put through its paces by age-group teams from across New Caledonia. The project was opened in a blaze of celebrity as FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and OFC President Reynald Temarii joined FCF President Claude Fournier for the recent Karembeu Jubilee celebrations. FIFA and OFC Ambassador Christian Karembeu said the facility represented a major boost to football across the island territory- The FCF hosted a one-day football promotion at the facility on 23 August – as a precursor to hosting all domestic women’s football competitions at the centre this season. Two seven-a-side age-group tournaments took place: one for U-t 3s, the other for U-16s.
Papua New Guinean champions Hekari Souths United beat Wantok Cup champions Solympics 4-2 and former Solomon Islands 0-League representatives Marist FC 4-1 on their brief tour of the Solomon Islands. Seven out of Hekari’s eight goals were scored by Solomon Islanders now plying their trade with Hekari Souths Utd in Port Moresby.
New Zealand represented the OFC in
both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments in Beijing and shared similar fortunes. The women earned a 2-2 draw with Japan, before losing 1-0 to Norway and 5-0 to the USA, while the men fought their way to a 1-1 draw in their opening match against hosts China, before falling 5-0 to Brazil and 1 -0 to Belgium. A trio of OFC referees officiated at the Olympic Football Tournaments, namely Mike Hester (New Zealand), Tevita Makasini (Tonga) and Michael Joseph (Vanuatu). The OFC team oversaw the group matches USA v. Netherlands and Korea Republic v. Honduras, with Hester refereeing the matches and Makasini and Joseph working as his assistants.