Football in Tuvalu

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Football in Tuvalu
TNFA logo verbeterd.png
Country Tuvalu
Governing body Tuvalu National Football Association
National team Tuvalu
Clubs 8

Football is the most popular sport in Tuvalu. Football in Tuvalu is governed by the Tuvalu National Football Association (TNFA). The TNFA became an associate member association of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) on 15 November 2006. The TNFA has been wanting to be a member of FIFA since 1987.[1]

History was made in 2007 when Tuvalu became the first non FIFA member to participate in an official World cup qualifying match.[2] The situation arose when the regional governing body used the 2007 South Pacific Games, as the first stage of the qualification tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and qualification tournament for the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. Tuvalu performed with great credit, earning a remarkable 1–1 draw with Tahiti in which Viliamu Sekifu became as the first World cup scorer for his country. The other three fixtures in the tournament ended in defeat and Tuvalu failed to progress from their five team group.

In September 2008, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia and the President of the Tuvalu Football Association, Tapugao Falefou, visited the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich, hoping to gain full membership in the organisation.[1] However the lack of football facilities in Tuvalu is a major obstacle membership of FIFA. Tuvalu does not have a stadium, or training grounds or hotels to visiting teams and supporters.[3][4][5]

In recent years the TNFA have received support from the Netherlands.[6] In 2011 Foppe de Haan was the football coach of Tuvalu.[7] On 1 May 2012 Stevan de Geijter was appointed as the head of Youth Development at the TNFA.[8]

The Tuvalu national football team and the activities of the foundation Dutch Support Tuvalu are the focus of Mission Tuvalu (Missie Tuvalu) (2013) a feature documentary directed by Jeroen van den Kroonenberg.

In 2014 for the first time in history a Tuvaluan Football player of the year was chosen. The honor was for Sepetaio Willie.

National competitions[edit]

National teams[edit]

Mens' team[edit]

The Tuvalu national football team was managed by Foppe de Haan at the Pacific Games 2011.[7]

Tuvalu participated in the 2011 Pacific Games in Nouméa, New Caledonia from 27 August to 9 September. Tuvalu defeated American Samoa 4-0 in the Group A match at on the first day of the games.[9] and finished in fourth place in Group A, with a record number of goals. This is the best performance by Tuvalu in an international tournament.

U-20 team[edit]

The Tuvalu Under 20's football team, is controlled by Tuvalu Football and represents Tuvalu in international Under 20 or youth football competitions.

U-17 team[edit]

In August 2012 they participated for the first time on a tournament. They participated at the NBT Cup for B-teams.[10] The first game they won against Ha’apai United B with 3-0. But they lost the second game with 6-0 against TMTI and the third game they lost with 5-0 against Lofeagai Boys. Malesi of Lofeagai scored 5 goals.

Other national teams[edit]

A women's national team, and a futsal national team also compete.

A-Division clubs[edit]

The following teams played in the 2013 season:[11]

Nui and FC Niutao participated in the 2012 season.[10]

Football at the Tuvalu Games[edit]

Football in Tuvalu
Founded 2008
Number of teams 8
Current champions FC Tofaga
(3 titles)
Most successful club(s) FC Manu Laeva and FC Tofaga
(3 titles)
Men's tournament
Women's tournament

Football has been a regular event at the Tuvalu Games,[12] is a competition organized by the Tuvalu National Football Association (TNFA). It is called also Tuvalu Cup.


The tournament began in the 2008 season. The first champion were FC Manu Laeva.[12]

The 2013 champion team were FC Tofaga; winning the final against Nauti 1-0, with Etimoni Timuani scoring.[13]

Men's Tournament[edit]

Tofaga A winners Tuvalu Games 2012


Year Winner Runner-up Score
2008 FC Manu Laeva Lakena United 1–0
2009 FC Manu Laeva FC Tofaga 3–1
2010 FC Tofaga Nauti FC 2–1
2011 FC Manu Laeva FC Tofaga 3–1
2012 FC Tofaga Tamanuku 2–1[10][14]
2013 FC Tofaga Nauti FC 1–0[13]
2014 FC Manu Laeva Ha'apai United 2–0

Number of titles[edit]

Club # Wins Winning Years
1 FC Manu Laeva 4 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014
2 FC Tofaga 3 2010, 2012, 2013

Women's Tournament[edit]


Year Winner Runner-up Score
2010 Tamanuku Tofaga 1–0
2011 Tamanuku Tofaga 1–0
2012 Tamanuku Nauti 1–1 (3-1)
2013 Nauti Nui 0–0 (3-2)
2014 Nui Niutao 1–0

Number of titles[edit]

Club # Wins Winning Years
1 Tamanuku 3 2010, 2011, 2012
1 Nauti 1 2013
1 Nui 1 2014

Men's B teams Tournament[edit]


Year Winner Runner-up Score
2012 Lakena United B Manu Laeva B 2–0
2013 Tofaga B Lakena United B 1–0
2014 Nauti B Tofaga B 1–0

Number of titles B teams[edit]

Club # Wins Winning Years
1 Lakena United B 1 2012
1 Tofaga B 1 2013
1 Nauti B 1 2014


  1. ^ a b "Tuvalu eye place in football family". FIFA. September 22, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Tuvalu does not sink". Periodismo de fútbol internacional. September 2009. 
  3. ^ Frew, Craig (9 December 2013). "Tuvalu still dreams of joining Fifa's world football family". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "No sports ground, no hotels so no to FIFA for Tuvalu – OFC". Radio Australia. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "OFC hits back at Tuvalu over FIFA bid". Australia Network News. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tuvalu football project - Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation (in Dutch, English, French and Spanish)". 
  7. ^ a b "Foppe de Haan gaat nationaal team van Tuvalu trainen". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). May 25, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Stevan de Geijter hoofd opleidingen van Tuvalu". de Stentor (in Dutch). 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Pacific Games NC2011 - Football". Sporting Pulse. 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Tuvalu 2012 – A Division (Men)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tuvalu 2013 – A Division (Men)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Tuvalu - List of Cup Winners (Men)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Tuvalu 2013 – Tuvalu Games". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Football results - Tuvalu Games 2012". 7 June 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 

External links[edit]