The main focus of the KIFA Executive is getting the membership in FIFA and OFC. KIFA still places great importance in the membership bid as it realizes the great potential that the membership can do in the development of football in Kiribati. The other main focus is greater involvement of member associations and clubs in competitions organized by KIFA and in the general affairs of KIFA.
The FIFA visit to Kiribati in September 2011 is still a landmark in the story of football in Kiribati. The visit recommended the following –
- The competition structure has to be improved so as to make it a nationwide competition rather than just one island.
- An annual reporting of the KIFA activities has to be improved so as to clearly explain the activities undertaken yearly and to include pictures so that it can be followed easily.
- The football pitch needs improvement.
KIFA has improved its competition structure to make it a national competition rather than that based on one or just a few islands only. The year 2014 is the first time KIFA organized an inter-island football tournament in which the whole of Kiribati were invited to participate. This is in response to FIFA’s recommendation to improve its competition structure. This continued in 2015 and 2016 as can be seen in the report.
The annual reporting of the KIFA activities has in the past been done as a summary of the activities undertaken yearly and it is true that it did not explain in detail what was carried out in the year. This annual report has now been improved significantly by making it into a book format in which all the activities undertaken in the year are clearly explained. This change was started in 2014 and continued in 2015 and 2016.
KIFA is still working hard to improve its football pitches but to do this it will need financial support from the Government and other interested donors. KIFA also uses the annual grant from OFC to develop its football pitches and also to provide goal nets, corner flags, linesmen’s flags and other much needed items for the football pitches on the outer islands. In the longer term, KIFA cannot sustain this improvement work as it has limited finances. The work can be easily undertaken if KIFA becomes a member of FIFA/OFC as it will use the annual grant to improve and maintain the standard of the pitches.
To confirm KIFA’s genuine commitment to improve communications with FIFA/OFC, in September 2015, the KIFA Executive Committee appointed Jake Kewley as its Ambassador based in the UK with his main responsibility to help KIFA in its application for membership in OFC and eventually in FIFA.
Jake Kewley is still very active in the affairs of KIFA even though he is on the other side of the planet. At the moment, he is still helping us out in our application for membership in FIFA, which we are finding dragging on and on and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting dimmer and dimmer.
Yes, it is true that there are no Micronesian States in the OFC. The OFC will be richer with Micronesians. With our love of football and high participation rates, Kiribati can inject Micronesian flair and new energy to an organization that currently does not reach above the equator. Our full membership will make the OFC a culturally richer and politically stronger organization.