Friday, May 28, 2010

France gets behind Tahiti 2013

OFC Media

The French Government has added its support to Tahiti's hosting of the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
From left, Franck Castillo, OFC President Reynald Temarii, Rama
Yade, Christian Karembeu and Noelline Parker |

OFC President Reynald Temarii lead a delegation - including Tahiti 2013 chief executive Noelline Parker, OFC head of social responsibility Franck Castillo and FIFA ambassador for Oceania Christian Karembeu – to Paris this month to meet with the French ministry of sport.
President Temarii sat down with Rama Yade, the French secretary of state for sports, to discuss funding for the event and the possibility of further cooperation between OFC and France in regards to other programmes.
Ms Yade pledged her support for the tournament and another meeting will be held in the same city during September to confirm the financial details.
President Temarii has also invited Ms Yade to participate in the OFC Congress, to be held in Tahiti on January 21 and 22 next year. She has accepted the invitation but her presence will depend on how busy her schedule is at the time.
Tahiti won the right to host the beach soccer world cup in March in what was a big coup for the French Polynesian federation. They beat off competition from world-class bidders Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Poland and Oman and will become the first Pacific nation to host a beach world cup.
More than 600 players, staff and spectators are expected to come to Tahiti for the tournament and it is likely to inject a significant boost into the country's economy.
It will also expose Tahiti as an international holiday destination as the games will be broadcast on television in 147 nations.
"FIFA's executive committee has just given French Polynesia one of the best sports events of the world," President Temarii said when Tahiti was confirmed as the winning bid.
After leaving Paris, the president and his delegation also stopped off at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. They meet up with Luis Riera Figueras, who is in charge of the commission's relationship with the African, Carribbean and Pacific countries, and Ranieri Sabatucci, director of the Pacific division.
The meeting was centred towards the OFC development projects but other issues – such as global warming, a subject close to the heart of President Temarii – were also discussed. President Temarii is concerned over the plight of Tuvalu, a small Pacific Island nation midway between Hawaii and Australia.
The country's series of islands and atolls are only 4.5 metres above sea level at their highest and officials have been concerned about the effects of rising sea levels for some years.
Other low-lying Pacific nations may also soon be under threat and President Temarii is keen to raise awareness about this problem by hosting international beach soccer games.
Another highlight of the trip was meeting Thierry Catteau, a young Pacific Islander who is working for the European Commission.
President Temarii says Catteau's achievements are an inspiration and provide something for all young people in the Oceania region to aspire to.
"To discover a young Polynesian working in such an important institution and having a key role is enough to say the day was a real success," he says. "It shows that the new Pacific generation has real potential to build the region for tomorrow."
Updated On Thursday, May 27, 2010

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