The Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) has welcomed the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC’s) decision for Vanuatu to be hosting the upcoming U-18 youth tournament scheduled for the 15-24th of August.
According to VFF, the tournament is a first-time initiative and Port Vila will be the first country to host such programs.
The tournament is organized by OFC in assistance with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) program. The Secretary General for VFF, Albert Manoroto said that the tournament also seeks to address youth promotions. He said that it is to increase the level of competitions and also to improve the level of football in Vanuatu and teams participating within the tournament.
Mr Manoroto said that OFC is looking at 2026, where an Oceania team can also participate alongside New Zealand in the men’s world cup event. He said the U-18 tournament comes as an objective for youths to work towards that stage, in securing a spot at the 2026 Men’s World cup. SG Manoroto mentioned that it is one of the main objectives set aside under the OFC’s strategic plan.
He said that VFF and OFC has observed the lack of competitions within the region and has opted to such initiatives, organized by OFC to address the challenges of the football standard and level of Oceania countries and those under the Confederation. Mr Manaroto said that UEFA’s assistance to strengthen ourselves in such programs is the way forward to improve and promote out youths and also the standard and level of our football industry.
The VFF SG said that basically it is to test our programs emphasizing that it is a good thing as we have a good mix team to participate in the tournament. He said that it should actually tell our level of football along with the participating teams. Mr Manoroto said that it will also allow Coaches to observe the standard of players and to assess works still yet to be done.
SG Manoroto explained that it is a good opportunity for the teams and Vanuatu as the teams will also be taking part in the upcoming U-20 world cup campaign. He said that the teams will be arriving in Port Vila by beginning of next week.
The Vanuatu U-18 team is currently in training sessions at the Teouma Football Academy.