A group of passionate, but concerned, footballers have joined Jamieson, with the primary goal of improving football in all the Cook Islands.
This group has as its members a number of long-term football supporters, players, qualified coaches and club officials based here in Rarotonga.
There has been recent concern about the way football is currently being managed by the national association CIFA.
Concerns include fair play and the observance and adherence to FIFA, OFC and CIFA Statutes, regulations and Constitutions.
“We must start the process of repairing confidence in, respect for, and integrity of the CIFA,” says Jamieson.
Another concern is a ‘football first’ culture and decision making to ensure decision makers are the most qualified personnel available and that they have a clear mandate.
Key football decisions must be widely consulted, carefully deliberated, and most importantly be impartial according to the group.
The group is also pushing for transparency and accountability as the key to good governance and “no more secrets”.
FCI wants to focus on growing and developing football from the bottom up. It says this means long term planning, with a change of focus or emphasis from national team investment to grassroots football development and building stronger clubs and coaches.
FCI wants to work closely with the national body CIFA, to help improve the current state of football.
Jamieson said, “The Cook Islands Men’s National Team is currently placed 204 out of a possible 207 countries (affiliated to FIFA – Fdration Internationale de Football Association) in the world. In 2000 the Cooks were beating countries like Samoa, Tonga and American Samoa.
Since then those countries have continued to improve, and we have not. This is the worst position that Cook Islands football has been in since it joined FIFA in 1996, and we all want to create an environment that will turn this poor position around.”
Current Cook Islands International Men’s team player, Tony Jamieson, is a key spokesperson for Football Cook Islands. Jamieson has played football for 33 years and is the second highest capped Cook Islands player.