Oceania Football: VAVA’U, Tonga – April 20, 2015 – Women’s football hit Tonga’s second largest island of Vava’u hard over the weekend with the new women’s league launching to huge fanfare.
Football has been played on Vava’u for more than 30 years, with women’s football generally as highly regarded as the men’s game.
Officially launched on Saturday 18 April, the FIFA-funded league has seen 15 teams register to participate.
“We have been dreaming of how and when we might recieve assistance to develop football in Vava’u,” says President of Vava’u Football Manu Moala, ” and now our dream has come true.”
“I would like to extend my gratitude to FIFA and thank them for their generous contribution. Looking out at these clubs gathered here today is like looking at footbal clubs in Europe, they’re all looking like footballers ready to play.”
The event was officially opened by Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai, who extended his gratitude and appreciaton to FIFA for their continued support of women’s football, and their contribution to the game in Vava’u.
“I’m not a football man, but I’m so excited to know the women of Vava’u know how to play football,” he says.
“It’s the number one sport in the world as there are 250 million people playing this beautiful game.”
Tonga Football Association General Secretary Lui Aho says the league’s launch is the culmination of several months of hard work, following the granting of the FIFA Women’s Football Development Programme.
“Since FIFA announced that TFA would receive support for this event, as well as several other women’s football projects, we began working with our branch office in Vava’u,” he says.
“All 15 registered teams have received equipment from FIFA and are looking good and we’ve been able to get underway in style.
The Vava’u Women’s League will run until the last week of July.
The island is hosting further women’s football events this week with a FIFA Women’s Football Coaching Course being held from 20-24 April, before a FIFA Live Your Goals festival will conclude activities on 25 April.
For more on Tonga football go to www.tongafootball.to