The goal of reviving the once popular Melanesian Cup is becoming a reality as positive commitments were made on 20 August in Suva, Fiji when the MSG Secretariat’s Sports, Arts & Culture team led by the Deputy Director General, Mr. Peter Eafeare met with various sports stakeholders including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Maritino Nemani and heads of the Fiji Sports Council and Fiji Football Federation.
Mr. Nemani, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, was also a representative in the Fiji National Team that took part in the Melanesian Cup in 1990.
He, received and welcomed the Secretariat team to his ministry and shared among others his experience and memories of the competition. He added his support for the Secretariat’s initiative and work to revive the competition noting that previous discussions on reviving this competition have been futile.
Mr. Nemani stressed that with the Melanesian Cup competition he believed our people in Melanesia can come together as one to witness the exciting competition. He also stressed that Fiji would welcome participating in this event. “Fiji as a MSG member will always be part of this tournament the only exception being if the competition this year clashes with programs that are already locked in.”
The main purpose of reviving the Melanesian Cup tournament is to strengthen the relationship between member countries and to develop a people to people approach adding a strong emphasis in supporting and empowering Melanesian youths and their talents.
Mr. Peter Mazey, Chairman of the Fiji Sports Council, was happy to see the progress that the MSG has taken in empowering Melanesian youths through sports and culture.
“These are the tools that will shape and drive our youths because in sports you learn to discipline yourself and abide by the rule of the game while culture develops your behavior and attitude.” he said.
He also added that “these are practical initiatives and I am glad to be in this meeting to see the steps MSG are taking to revive the Melanesian Cup tournament to strengthen our ties and support sport initiatives for our youths. Our only real challenge for the proposed date of the tournament is the amount of time we have on our side.”
The Secretariat team also met with Executive members of the Fiji Football Federation who also shared similar sentiments. Mr. Mohammed Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Football Federation was delighted to meet our team and with the outcome of our consultation. “We are very blessed to receive the MSG Team in the football office today.” He said “we were part of the Melanesian Cup and we will always participate in the tournament if our Government is in it.”
Deputy Director General Eafeare confirmed in the consultations that the proposed dates for the tournament being November 18-30, 2019 are tentative dates, and the team will be working on the metrics of the dates once consultations are completed with key officials in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The MSG would be in position to confirm suitable dates once the consultation with the members are completed. “A consolidated document combining the important resolutions made and considered in these consultations will be circulated to all stakeholders after the consultations so preparations can kick start, soon after.” DDG Eafeare said
The MSG Secretariat team who are part of this important consultation are, Mr. Peter Eafeare, Deputy Director General MSG Secretariat, Mr. Bill Henry, Sports Development Officer and Mr. Simione Tuimalega, Arts and Culture Officer. The team will fly to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands next week for the final round of consultations.