Tuvalu national football team

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Tuvalu
Shirt badge/Association crest
Association TNFA
Head coach Lopati Taupili
Most caps Mau Penisula (14)
Top scorer Alopua Petoa (8)
Home stadium Tuvalu Sports Ground
FIFA code TUV
First colours
Second colours
Elo ranking
Current 214 Steady (6 March 2018)
First international
French Polynesia Tahiti 18–0 Tuvalu Tuvalu
(Suva, Fiji; 29 August 1979)
Biggest win
Tuvalu Tuvalu 6–1 Chagos Islands Chagos Archipelago
(London, England; 9 June 2018)
Biggest defeat
French Polynesia Tahiti 18–0 Tuvalu Tuvalu
(Suva, Fiji; 29 August 1979)

The Tuvalu national football team is the international football team of Tuvalu. Football in Tuvalu is played at club and national team level. The Tuvalu national football team draws from players in the Tuvalu A-Division; with the national team training at the Tuvalu Sports Ground on Funafuti.[1] The national team competes in the Pacific Games. The national team is controlled by the Tuvalu National Football Association (TNFA), which is an associate member of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) but not a member of FIFA.[2]

Membership[edit]

Tuvalu is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), but not of FIFA. 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.[2] In December 2013, OFC General Secretariat Tai Nicholas named Tuvalu's lack of a regulation pitch as the main factor preventing the country from being accepted into FIFA.[3][4] The Tuvalu Football Association continues to seek membership of FIFA with the Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation assisting Tuvalu with the FIFA application and with the development of football in Tuvalu.[5] Since November 2016, Tuvalu has been a member of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA).[6]

History[edit]

1979 South Pacific Games[edit]

The Tuvaluan team, captained by Karl Tili,[Note 1] played three international matches in the 1979 South Pacific Games, held in Fiji, with Kokea Malu as the coach. There, the team recorded both a large win, 5–3 against Tonga,[8] and its worst defeat, losing 18–0 to Tahiti in the first game of the competition.[9] Tuvalu recovered to beat Tonga in the second game, however in the third game Tuvalu was defeated by New Caledonia 10–2.[9] The next game was against Kiribati, which was drawn 3–3;[9] however Tuvalu won the penalty shootout 4–2.[9] In the final game of the first round Tuvalu was defeated by Guam 7–2.[9]

2003 South Pacific Games[edit]

In the match in the lead-up to the 2003 South Pacific Games, Tuvalu played a friendly game against Fiji and were defeated 9–0.[10]

Tuvalu also participated in four games at the 2003 South Pacific Games again held in Fiji, with Tim Jerks as the coach. After defeating Kiribati 3–2 in their opening game,[8][11] Tuvalu again played Fiji, in this game Fiji won 4–0.[11] In the game against Vanuatu, Tuvalu was defeated 1–0.[11] In the final game of the tournament against Solomon Islands, Tuvalu was defeated 4–0.[11] Tuvalu finished fourth out of five in Pool A.[12]

Tuvalu Team, Pacific Games 2007

2007 World Cup and OFC Nations Cup qualifications[edit]

In 2007, with Toakai Puapua as the coach, and Petio Semaia as the captain,[Note 2] Tuvalu became the first non FIFA member to participate in an official World Cup qualifying match.[14] The situation arose when the regional governing body used the football competition at 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. Fiji defeated Tuvalu 16–0.[15][16] However Tuvalu fought hard against New Caledonia (who were joint leaders of the competition) and only lost 1–0.[15][17] Tuvalu then drew 1–1 with Tahiti,[8] with a late equaliser from Viliamu Sekifu,[13][18][19] However the Cook Islands defeated Tuvalu 4–1.[15] The Cook Islands team was coached by Tim Jerks who had previously coached Tuvalu.[20]

2011 Pacific Games[edit]

Okilani Tinilau in action against Vanuatu (2011)

2011 the Tuvalu National Football Association signed Dutch coach Foppe de Haan as the coach on a part-time and volunteer basis.[21]

De Haan previously coached SC Heerenveen, Ajax Cape Town and the Dutch national U-21 team. In the match in the lead-up to the 2011 Pacific Games De Haan started his tenure with a 3–0 victory over Samoa,[8][22][23] with Tuvalu captained by Mau Penisula. Alopua Petoa scored all three goals.[24]

De Haan's second match in charge saw a record 4–0 victory recorded over American Samoa in the first match of their 2011 Pacific Games campaign,[25][26][27] with a hat-trick from 19-year-old Alopua Petoa.[24] The third match was not as successful, with the side going down 5–1 to Vanuatu.[25][28] After losing 8–0 to New Caledonia,[25][29] and 6–1 to Solomon Islands,[25][30] the Tuvaluan team drew the game with Guam 1–1.[25][31] The Tuvaluan team finished equal with Guam in Pool A with four points.

De Haan left his post after the tournament to rejoin Heerenveen's youth programme.[32]

Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation[edit]

Logo of Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation

The Tuvalu national football team received support from the Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation, which is a foundation in the Netherlands.[33]

On 18 August 2013 the Tuvalu national football team went on a three-month tour of the Netherlands. During this tour they played at least 20 friendly matches against local amateur football clubs. Former NAC Breda and De Graafschap coach Leen Looijen was the team's mentor during training in the Netherlands,[1] with the tour organised by the Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation.[5]

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

Tuvaluan footballers in New Zealand[edit]

Tuvaluan footballers play for clubs in New Zealand. Vaisua Liva and Alopua Petoa joined Waitakere City FC in 2012.[34] Meneua Fakasega and Jerome Funafuti also played for Waitakere City FC. Maalosi Alefaio has played for Te Atatu AFC. Togavai Stanley has played for Nauti Power FC, which is a football club of Tuvaluan men living in Auckland, New Zealand.

CONIFA Membership[edit]

Tuvalu warm up before their win over the Chagos Islands in June 2018
Chagos Islands (blue) and Tuvalu (yellow) line up before their match in June 2018

Since November 2016 Tuvalu has been a member of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA).[35] On 7 March 2018 it was announced the Tuvalu would replace other Oceania nation Kiribati in the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup in London.[36] On 9 June 2018, Tuvalu recorded their biggest ever victory in a 6–1 win over the Chagos Islands.[37]

Match history[edit]

Date Event/Venue Opponent Score
9 June 2018 Friendly - London  Chagos Islands 6–1
7 June 2018 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup - London  Tamil Eelam 3–4
5 June 2018 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup - London United Koreans in Japan 0–5
3 June 2018 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup - London Matabeleland 1–3
2 June 2018 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup - London  Padania 0–8
31 May 2018 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup - London Székely Land Székely Land 0–4
15 December 2017 2017 Pacific Mini Games - Vanuatu  Tonga 4–3
12 December 2017 2017 Pacific Mini Games - Vanuatu  Vanuatu 0–10
9 December 2017 2017 Pacific Mini Games - Vanuatu  Solomon Islands 0–6
5 December 2017 2017 Pacific Mini Games - Vanuatu  New Caledonia 2–1
2 December 2017 2017 Pacific Mini Games - Vanuatu  Fiji 0–8
5 September 2011 2011 Pacific Games – New Caledonia  Guam 1–1
3 September 2011 2011 Pacific Games – New Caledonia  Solomon Islands 1–6
1 September 2011 2011 Pacific Games – New Caledonia  New Caledonia 0–8
30 August 2011 2011 Pacific Games – New Caledonia  Vanuatu 1–5
27 August 2011 2011 Pacific Games – New Caledonia  American Samoa 4–0
22 August 2011 FriendlyFiji  Samoa 3–0
1 September 2007 2007 SPG & 2010 WC Qualifier – Samoa  Cook Islands 1–4
29 August 2007 2007 SPG & 2010 WC Qualifier – Samoa  Tahiti 1–1
27 August 2007 2007 SPG & 2010 WC Qualifier – Samoa  New Caledonia 0–1
25 August 2007 2007 SPG & 2010 WC Qualifier – Samoa  Fiji 0–16
5 July 2003 2003 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Solomon Islands 0–4
3 July 2003 2003 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Vanuatu 0–1
1 July 2003 2003 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Fiji 0–4
30 June 2003 2003 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Kiribati 3–2
1 May 2003 FriendlyFiji  Fiji 0–9
6 September 1979 1979 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Guam 2–7
5 September 1979 1979 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Kiribati 3–3 (4–2)
4 September 1979 1979 South Pacific Games – Fiji  New Caledonia 2–10
31 August 1979 1979 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Tonga 5–3
28 August 1979 1979 South Pacific Games – Fiji  Tahiti 0–18

Historical Kits[edit]

Tuvalu national football team (2011)
2003 Home
2007 Home
2011 Home

Sources: 2007[38]

Competitive Record[edit]

Pacific Games[edit]

Pacific Games Record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
Fiji 1979 Quarter-Finals 8th 3 1 0 2 7 31
Samoa 1983 Did Not Enter
New Caledonia 1987
Papua New Guinea 1991
French Polynesia 1995
Fiji 2003 Group Stage 8th 4 1 0 3 3 11
Samoa 2007 Group Stage 9th 4 0 1 3 2 22
New Caledonia 2011 Group Stage 7th 5 1 1 3 7 20
Papua New Guinea 2015 Did Not Enter
Total 4/13 0 Titles 16 3 2 11 19 84

ConIFA World Football Cup[edit]

ConIFA World Football Cup Record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
Barawa 2018 Group stage 15th 5 0 0 5 4 24

Fixtures and Results[edit]

2017[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup

Head Coach: Tuvalu Lopati Taupili

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Katepu Iosua (1988-05-11) May 11, 1988 (age 30) 8 0 Tuvalu Tofaga
90 1GK Roy Tanapa (1990-10-29) October 29, 1990 (age 27) 0 0 Tuvalu Nauti

2 2DF Kalamelu Seloto (1992-02-24) February 24, 1992 (age 26) 4 0 Tuvalu Nauti
3 2DF Paolo Taitai (1996-09-02) September 2, 1996 (age 21) 5 0 Tuvalu Tamanuku
4 2DF Meauke Tuilagi (1997-09-05) September 5, 1997 (age 20) 4 0 Tuvalu Niutao
6 2DF James Lepaio (1992-09-06) September 6, 1992 (age 25) 9 1 Tuvalu Tofaga
8 2DF Etimoni Timuani (1991-10-14) October 14, 1991 (age 26) 6 0 Tuvalu Lakena United
11 2DF Sueni Founuku (1994-06-15) June 15, 1994 (age 24) 1 0 Tuvalu Tofaga
18 2DF Tausau Lopati (1983-02-21) February 21, 1983 (age 35) 0 0 Tuvalu Manu Laeva
22 2DF Vaiuli Nukualofa (1994-02-05) February 5, 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Tuvalu Manu Laeva
24 2DF Leiatu Uoli (1992-01-06) January 6, 1992 (age 26) 2 0 Tuvalu Manu Laeva

5 3MF Geoffrey Maleko (1992-01-27) January 27, 1992 (age 26) 0 0 Tuvalu Nauti
7 3MF Taufaiva Ionatana (1993-02-15) February 15, 1993 (age 25) 5 1 Tuvalu Nauti
12 3MF Okilani Tinilau (1989-01-02) January 2, 1989 (age 29) 3 0 Tuvalu Manu Laeva
13 3MF Afelee Valoa (1990-07-05) July 5, 1990 (age 28) 5 0 Tuvalu Nauti
14 3MF Suega Tonise (1989-09-27) September 27, 1989 (age 28) 0 0 Tuvalu Manu Laeva
19 3MF Paulo Lotonu (1996-03-20) March 20, 1996 (age 22) 5 1 Tuvalu Nauti
25 3MF Folomanu Kulene (1997-09-04) September 4, 1997 (age 20) 2 0 Tuvalu Tofaga

9 4FW Alopua Petoa (1990-01-24) January 24, 1990 (age 28) 10 8 Tuvalu Tofaga
10 4FW Matti Uaelasi (1992-08-14) August 14, 1992 (age 25) 4 1 Tuvalu Lakena United
15 4FW Sosene Vailine (1993-03-07) March 7, 1993 (age 25) 3 0 Tuvalu Nauti
16 4FW Teoliga Fakailoga (1997-09-12) September 12, 1997 (age 20) 1 0 Tuvalu Niutao
17 4FW Afelau Kalena (1991-10-23) October 23, 1991 (age 26) 0 0 Tuvalu Ha'apai United

Most capped players[edit]

Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Mau Penisula 2003– 14 0
2 Alopua Petoa 2011– 10 8
Jelly Selau 2007– 8 0
4 James Lepaio 2011– 9 1
5 Joshua Tui Tapasei 2003– 8 0
Katepu Iosua Sieni 2011– 8 0
7 Paenui Fagota 2003–2007 7 1
8 Petio Semaia 2003–2007 6 1
Lalesi Vaia 2003–2007 6 0
Peniuna Kaitu 2003–2007 6 0
Etimoni Timuani 2011– 6 0
Ali Takataka 2011– 6 0
Vaisua Liva 2011– 6 0
14 Alamoana Tofuola 2011– 5 0
George Panapa 2011– 5 0
Lutelu Tiute 2011– 5 1
Paolo Taitai 2017– 5 0
Taufaiva Ionatana 2017– 5 1
Afelee Valoa 2017– 5 0
Paulo Lotonu 2017– 5 1

Most goals scored[edit]

Top scorer Alopua Petoa (2011)

Goalscorers with an equal number of goals are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone (starting from, the bottom of the list).

# Name Career Goals Caps
1 Alopua Petoa[24] 2011– 8 10
2 Lutelu Tiute[27] 2011– 1 5
Togavai Stanley[31] 2011– 1 4
James Lepaio[30] 2011– 1 9
Uota Ale[28] 2011– 1 2
Vilamu Sekifu[13] 2007 1 3
Petio Semaia 2003–2007 1 6
Paenui Fagota 2003–2007 1 7
Kivoli Manoa 2003 1 4
Matti Uaelesi 2017- 1 4
Paulo Lotonu 2017- 1 5
Taufaiva Ionatana 2017- 1 5
  • Bold denotes players still playing international football.

Player of the year[edit]

In 2014 for the first time in history a Tuvaluan Player of the year was chosen. Sepetaio Willie was the first player who received this honor.[39][40]

Managers[edit]

Manager Tuvalu career Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
Tuvalu Kokea Malu 1979 5 2 0 3 040.0
Australia Tim Jerks 2003 5 1 0 4 020.0
Tuvalu Toakai Puapua 2006–2010 4 0 1 3 000.0
Netherlands Foppe de Haan 2011 6 2 1 3 033.3
Netherlands Leen Looijen 2013 0 0 0 0 !
Tuvalu Taukiei İtuaso 2016-2018 5 2 0 3 040.0
Tuvalu Lopati Taupili 2018- 6 1 0 5 016.7

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Tuvalu Squad 1979: Karl TILI [captain] (midfielder); Saipolua TANU (goalkeeper); Alefaio SEMESE (utility man); Salu MAREKO (sweeper); Teaki FALEFAEA (right defender); Panapa ISAIA (right defender); Filemoni PANISI (left defender); Seti MAINA [Seti SAFEGA] (defender); Nasona FAKALUPE (central midfielder); Kausea NATANO (left winger); Penipelite TALAFOU (centre forward); Simeona IOSIA (centre forward); Siliva TIMO (right winger); Lotoala Metia TEALOFI (left winger); Saifoloi Metia TEALOFI (centre forward); Coach: Kokea MALU.[7]
  2. ^ Tuvalu Squad 2007: 8. Petio SEMAIA (captain); 19. Jay TIMO (goalkeeper); 4. Mau PENISULA; 5. Lolesi VAIA; 6. Paitela KELEMENE; 7. Papua ULISESE; 9. Mati FUSI; 11. Paeniu FAGOTA; 13. Fulisagafou HAUMA; 15. Jelly SELAU; 16. Imo FIAMALUA; 1. Moresi VALOAGA; 2. Polu TANEI; 3. Onosemu NEEMIA; 5. Lolesi VAIA; 10. Semese ALEFAIO; 14. Peniuna KAITU; 17. Hetoa KAIO; 18. Tapeni LETUETI; 20. Viliamu SEKIFU; 22. Pelesia TEISINI; Coach: Pokai PUAPUA.[13]
Citations
  1. ^ a b Frew, Craig (9 December 2013). "Tuvalu still dreams of joining Fifa's world football family". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Tuvalu eye place in football family". FIFA.  22 September 2008
  3. ^ "Sinking Tuvalu get refused membership of Fifa". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax Media New Zealand Limited. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "OFC hits back at Tuvalu over FIFA bid". abc.net.au. ABC. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation − Football on Tuvalu". friendsoftuvalu.tv. Stichting Dutch Support Tuvalu's-Hertogenbosch. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tuvalu". conifa.org. CONIFA. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "South Pacific Games 1979 (Fiji)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 1979. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "De Haan: We will be a surprise package". Oceania Football Confederation. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "International tournaments – South Pacific Games 1979 (Fiji)". Tuvalu Football. 1979. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "International – Friendly matches (2003)". Tuvalu Football. 2003. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d "International tournaments – South Pacific Games 2003 (Fiji)". Tuvalu Football. 2003. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "South Pacific Games 2003 (Fiji)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2003. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "Super sub Sekifu leaves Tahiti red-faced". Football Federation of American Samoa. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Tuvalu does not sink". Periodismo de fútbol internacional. September 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c "International tournaments – South Pacific Games 2007 (Samoa)". Tuvalu Football. 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Race starts with goals galore". FIFA. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Hosts' derby joy on day two". FIFA. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Semi-final line-up takes shape". FIFA. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Vilamu Sekifu". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. 
  20. ^ "Fiji, Solomons seize semi-final slots". FIFA. 2 September 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Foppe de Haan gaat nationaal team van Tuvalu trainen". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 25 May 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  22. ^ "International – Friendly matches (2011)". Tuvalu Football. 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "De Haan start sterk als bondscoach van Tuvalu". Voetbal International (in Dutch). 22 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c "Interview with Alopua Petoa". Oceania No FIFA. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c d e "International tournaments – South Pacific Games 2011 (New Caledonia)". Tuvalu Football. 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Pacific Games NC2011 – Football". Sporting Pulse. 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Tuvalu have defeated American Samoa 4–0 in their men's Group A match at Rivière Salée in Noumea on day one of the XIV Pacific Games". Oceania Football Confederation. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Vanuatu have beaten Tuvalu 5–1 in their men's Group A match at Riviere Salée in Nouméa at the XIV Pacific Games". Oceania Football Confederation. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "New Caledonia have defeated Tuvalu 8–0 in their men's Group A match at Riviere Salée in Nouméa at the XIV Pacific Games". Oceania Football Confederation. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "Solomon Islands have beaten Tuvalu in their men's Group A match at Rivière Salée in Nouméa at the XIV Pacific Games". Oceania Football Confederation. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "Guam and Tuvalu have drawn 1–1 in their men's Group A match at Rivière Salée in Nouméa at the XIV Pacific Games". Oceania Football Confederation. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  32. ^ De Haan terug bij Heerenveen – De Telegraaf (in Dutch)
  33. ^ "Tuvalu football project – Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation (in Dutch, English, French and Spanish)". 
  34. ^ "Vaisua Liva and Alopua Petoa start their internship at Waitakere City FC". 12 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Tuvalu". CONIFA. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  36. ^ "Tuvalu to replace Kiribati at the 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup". CONIFA. Retrieved 8 April 2018. 
  37. ^ "WFC 2018 Recap – Day 6 (June 9)". CONIFA. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018. 
  38. ^ "Football -Tuvalu". oceaniafootball. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  39. ^ Editor (9 March 2015). "Sepetaio Willie Tuvaluan Football Player of 2014!" (PDF). Fenui News. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  40. ^ "Sepetaio Willie Tuvaluan Football Player of 2014!". Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation. February 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 

External links[edit]