Two Fijian futsal referees are currently in Auckland, New Zealand officiating at the in OFC’s inaugural Youth Futsal Tournament at Bruce Pulman Arena.
Labasa referee Jesnal Sami and Amitesh Behari have been appointed to officiate in the four days tournament which kicked off yesterday and ends on Friday.
The tournament will also see team in both men and women category.
The women’s competition will see several familiar faces, with multi-talented players from Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand making their second or third appearances at an OFC event this year after representing their nations at the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship and OFC U-19 Women’s Championship.
The three contending nations will also be joined by the Auckland Football Federation U-18 girl’s futsal team, who were invited by OFC to participate in the women’s competition and play the three national teams on their bye rounds.
The men’s competition will showcase futsal prodigies from Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, New Caledonia and American Samoa who have been selected to represent their nations after impressive performances in domestic youth tournaments or senior national leagues.
All seven nations will be making their debut in regional age-group futsal and will be eager to display the development and strength of their domestic game.
The winners of the men’s and women’s tournaments – with the exception of New Caledonia who are not an Olympic nation – will qualify for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
The two qualifying teams cannot be from the same Member Association so where a country has entered both the men’s and women’s events, the Member Association must nominate their preferred qualification team.