Nauru has relaunched the Nauru Soccer Federation in a bid to kickstart football on the world’s smallest island nation. Gareth Johnson has joined the board, alongside Acting President Kaz Cain, while fellow Englishman Charlie Pomroy has been named as national coach. A former English Premier League player is lined up to join the coaching staff in 2024.
A football association has been in existence in Nauru for a number of years but has been largely inactive in a formal sense. Locals have played games against Solomon Islands workers and refugees in the past, but neither were official matches. Football has generally taken the form of recreational, casual matches.
Nauru is one of just two countries on earth never to have played an international football match along with the Marshall Islands, but the aim is for that to change in the near future.
With the increased interest in the sport in the region and the likes of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands active, the aim is to offer the opportunity for Nauruans to play the world’s most popular sport on the international stage.
As one of just 6 sovereign nations not to be part of a FIFA Confederation, Nauru’s natural aim will be to seek recognition from Oceania Football Confederation or Asia Football Confederation, which will bring support and finance to sustain the game for generations to come.
A national shirt is due in 2024 and is expected to be sought after from kit collectors around the world.