Captain of the Solomon Islands national futsal team, Elliot Ragomo, has decided that he is staying with Kurukuru for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Futsal Championship and not moving to Hekari United to play in the O-League.
Ragomo was given a ticket to fly to Papua New Guinea on Monday forcing him to make a final decision.
In his statement Ragomo said that he is not going to play for Hekari United and will instead remain with Kurukuru to continue preparations for the OFC championship.
“My decision is to stay with Kurukuru but it is based solely on the fact that I want to help my country qualify for the World Cup next year,” Ragomo said.
“I am honoured by the interest that Hekari United has in me but at this stage I wish to decline this offer. My focus now is for us to qualify for the World Cup which I think is the biggest stage for a futsal player.”
This means that Ragomo will miss out on financial and other benefits he is destined to receive if he signs up with the Papua New Guinea and OFC club champions.
Ragomo added that he does not rule out moving to Hekari United once his obligations to Kurukuru are completed.
“I am interested in playing for Hekari United and I hope that I can join them later when I am available,” Ragomo said.
Ragomo’s decision has been hailed by Kurukuru team manager, Mapuru Tausinga, who has described it as a courageous choice.
“Elliot has made an important decision and I am sure that everyone who is close to him will support him. The country will be happy that Elliot is staying with Kurukuru,” Tausinga said.
“I believe that this is an important example for all of us. Elliot is putting his country’s goals ahead of himself and this is very unselfish of him and I commend him.”
Similar praise has come from the General Secretary of the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF), Eddie Ngava, who has thanked Elliot for choosing to stay with Kurukuru.
“This is good news for Kurukuru and for Solomon Islands. Elliot is important to Kurukuru and his choice to remain with the team shows true leadership,” Ngava says.
This news comes as another Kurukuru player, Lenson Bisili, heads over to Vanuatu to play for Amicale where he joins Jack Wetney who has been with the club since last year.
Ragomo will be the second Kurukuru player who have turned down a contract with a O’league team for this season.
Micah Lea’alafa made the similar move two weeks ago when he refused to go for the Vanuatu club Amical FC.
Instead Lenson Bisili took his place; Micah has decided that he will return for his Australian futsal team the Warriors to feature in the semi finals of the Sydney futsal league.
The Kurukuru team management has made a statement that they expect all squad members who are playing overseas to join the team by the beginning of April.