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HomeSportsBrief sports news for November 25

Brief sports news for November 25

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Black Bird Wins Vanuatu Invitational Football Tournament

Vanuatu club Ifira Black Bird FC have won the Vanuatu Friendship Cup ahead of a top-tier Australian rules football team.

Vanuatu Friendship Cup action

Vanuatu Friendship Cup action
Photo: Vanuatu Football Federation

The inaugural Friendship Cup in Port Vila featured the Central Coast Mariners, the Vanuatu national team and a Vanuatu development team.

The Mariners included Vanuatu captain Brian Kaltak.

Ifira Black Bird won the first prize of $4,200 and the Mariners took $2,100.

The winning team defeated the Mariners and the development team, and drew 0-0 with the Vanuatu national team.

The Mariners held the week-long tournament despite “difficult court conditions.”

“Heavy rain and humidity meant the young team experienced different conditions than they had seen before,” a club spokesman said.

“The trip acted as the perfect opportunity to give everyone in the team valuable minutes before the start of the A-League season, with head coach Nick Montgomery changing the squad for each of the matches.”

During their time in the country, Mariners players visited many local towns to pass on their skills.

New professional soccer league is formed

The Oceania Football Confederation has approved plans for the formation of an OFC Professional League.

Following the decision, the confederation will advance plans to start the league in 2025.

OFC President Lambert Maltock said the league would play a crucial role in elevating the sport throughout Oceania.

“As Oceania’s soccer leaders, we are responsible for the growth of soccer and we must move forward to make it happen,” Maltock said.

The formation of the competition will support the OFC’s long-term goal of qualifying two teams for the FIFA World Cups in 2026 for men and 2027 for women.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino pledged FIFA’s support for the concept last month at the OFC’s 28th Ordinary Congress in Auckland.

“The arrival of the OFC Professional League is an important step to help raise the profile of club football throughout the Oceania region,” Infantino said.

“I see it as a mutual benefit for the development of not only club football, but also to help strengthen the development of national team football throughout the region.

Samoan Games medalist makes professional debut in Apia

Commonwealth Games boxing silver medalist Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali makes his professional debut tonight in Apia.

Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali after his semi-final victory

Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali after his semi-final victory
Photo: Facebook

The heavyweight, who defeated Niue’s Duken Tutakitoa-Williams to reach the final in Birmingham this year, faces Fijian Apisai Naciqa at the Tuanaimato Faleata Sports Complex.

Naciqa has fought five times, winning just two of them and getting knocked out in each of the three losses.

Plodzicki-Faoagali said during the press conference that he was looking to end the fight early.

Her fellow Samoan Marion Faustino Ah Tong, who also competed at the Commonwealth Games, will also make her professional debut.

He has faced another Fijian, Ratu Rakuro, in the junior welterweight division.

Ah Tong and Faoagali have been training together in Australia in preparation for their professional debut.

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