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Melanesia Cup Back After 22 Years

The Melanesia Cup is back after 22 years. The football championship played between the Melanesian countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. The tournament adopted
27 Aug 2022 12:17
Melanesia Cup Back After 22 Years
Suva striker Azariah Soromon is a definite starter for Vanuatu in this year’s Melanesia Cup. Photo: OFC Media

The Melanesia Cup is back after 22 years.

The football championship played between the Melanesian countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.
The tournament adopted a round-robin format involving every team playing each other once. The last championship was played in 2000 where Fiji won the Cup.

The revival of the Melanesia Cup was announced by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Parveen Kumar Bala, during the opening of the Punjas Battle of the Giants tournament at Churchill Park, Lautoka, on Friday night.

Bala confirmed that Fiji would be sending a team to defend the Cup.

He said it was made possible after consultation with his counterparts at the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
“It is confirmed that Fiji will be part of the revived tournament that has been put on hold for some years,” he said.
The first Melanesia Cup tournament was played in 1988 at the Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The Billy Singh-coached side won the inaugural tournament after beating Solomon Islands 3-1 in the final while Vanuatu finished third after a 1-0 win over New Caledonia.
The national football team was captained by Pita Dau with star players like Ivor Evans, Simon ‘Maradona’ Peters, Lote Delai, Maritino Nemani, Nasoni Buli, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Ravuama Madigi, Ronald Chaudhry and so on.
Fiji won the Melanesia Cup five times (1988, 1989, 1992, 1998, 2000), Vanuatu (1990) and Solomon Islands (1994).

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