Jersey handed Uefa-backed international

Football | Published:

ISLAND footballers will welcome the Solomon Islands to Springfield this month as part of a deal made with Uefa for international fixtures.

A junior squad from the Solomon Islands will play at Springfield on 27 April Picture: ROB CURRIE

The Pacific nation are set to send a junior squad to face Jersey’s under-17s on Saturday 27 April – a visit instigated by officials from European football’s governing body after the Jersey FA’s application to become a Uefa member was turned down.

In February 2018, following a failed bid to join Europe’s elite, the JFA were offered assurances by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin that meaningful international fixtures would be provided. European Championship and Nations League commitments make it unlikely that senior squads from this continent will be available, but JFA president Phil Austin, who led Jersey’s Uefa bid, is pleased with the first step.

The Solomon Islands are preparing to appear at the 2019 U17 World Cup in Brazil – a competition won by England in 2017, with the help of Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Austin said: ‘This is exactly why we wanted to get into Uefa – to play different teams with different styles.

‘This time last year when we failed to get into Uefa I met with the president [Ceferin] and I said “we can’t leave it like this, you’ve got to help”, and he said “of course, we will”.

‘We’ll aim to keep this relationship open with Uefa. This is a great opportunity for us and hopefully it’s just the start.’

Jersey’s bid for international recognition was rejected by Uefa members at their 2018 annual congress in Bratislava, with 49 out of 55 countries voting against the application.

Jason Fox

By Jason Fox

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