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Football Tournaments A Team Success

Over the short span of three weeks, Rarotonga became the hub for Oceania football with two tournaments hosted here for the first time.
Mid-January drew the curtain on the OFC U17 Women’s Championship and the Men’s Oceania Champions League Preliminary, giving locals a taste of competitive football at regional level.
The tournaments brought together 12 participating teams and 16 referee officials collectively, as well as a team from the Oceania Football Confederation to run the event alongside CIFA.
For the local Association it was the first time to hold events of such capacity, and with the high level of participation from all over Oceania it took a leap of faith to achieve a successful hosting campaign.
“We didn’t really know what to expect heading into these tournaments, and for the first competition it seemed like a mission to host eight girls’ teams from accommodation to bus trips and etcetera,” says Competitions Manager Pauline Dean.
“But as far as I’m concerned everyone enjoyed their time here and I think we set a good impression as a host country.”
For the Cook Islands’ teams participating in the tournament it was a proud feeling being able to represent their country on home turf despite returning to camp with unfavourable results.
“At the end of the day it was about showing great sportsmanship towards our brothers and sisters from around the region so they can see we are good hosts,” says Tupapa Captain Mii Joseph.
Coming out from the tournaments, CIFA can only learn from its mistakes and improve on where required if another opportunity to host future Oceania tournaments presents.
“Now we know our limitations and capacities, I believe we can host more tournaments like these,” says Dean.
In addition, CIFA would like to thank the community and sponsors for all the support given towards the tournament.
Participating teams in the Oceania Champions League Preliminary including referees and OFC departed Rarotonga on Sunday afternoon.