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Football in Palau

Palau is famous for a lot of things, such as its island hopping, pseudo-colonial status, as well as its intense beauty. Football in Palau though is as of yet not currently a draw to the country, nor do they even have a national team. This though might be about to change if the new president of the Palau Soccer Association gets his way.

The history of football in Palau

When it comes to the history of football in Palau the nation is most noteworthy for not having one. Formerly an American colony and arguably still so, “soccer” was always going to struggle.

The Palau Soccer Association was founded in 2002 and since then has managed to set up the Palau Super League, as well as a national team of sorts that has managed to attain Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) associate membership.

You can read about the OFC here.

Yet while this is at least partly a success with associate membership of the OFC it is not full success with Palau receiving just $30,000 a year as opposed to the millions one can receive through full membership and thus entrance into FIFA.

As things stand Palau cannot enter the world cup, but this is a situation they are trying to remedy.

The Palau Soccer League

Originally started in 2004 a league is one of the core things you “nee” for any chance of getting into the OFC and thus FIFA. Since its formation it has been contested most years, at least until Covid came along and all the expats left.

This leads to the second issue, most Palauans are just not that into soccer, so the leagues is dominated by expats, of which there are relatively few right as tourist numbers have dwindled, despite the beauty of the islands here.

Soccer in Palau

The Future of Soccer in Palau

Palau soccer though has a new acting President, namely Lukeson Sifix, a national of the Solomon Islands who works in the country as a teacher. If he has his way he will restart the league with 4-6 teams by March of 2024, as well as push for more international games.

And these are to include Futsal, as well as the 11 a side version, an easy thing to arrange with regards to repurposing basketball courts. He is also interested in taking part in the Futsal tournament planned to be held in Kiribati in the summer of 2024, should it take place.

So football, or rather soccer should soon be coming home to Palau, with how far they can go anyones guess.

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