In March 2020, the Tongan Football Association (TFA) inaugurated a new FIFA Forward-funded technical centre on the Vava'u archipelago, which is the centrepiece of the country’s plan to grow and develop the game outside of the capital of Nuku’alofa.
Thanks to a pilot project launched under FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme, the focus turned to supporting women’s football on six islands. Four of the largest islands ('Eua, Tongatapu, Vava'u and Ha'apai) fully participated in the programme, while two more remote ones (Niuafo'ou and Niuatoputapu) took part in the MA Coach Education Certificate in Vava'u and received training equipment, as well as a customised training programme.
"The start of the programme in 'Eua, Vava'u and Tongatapu was tremendous. We’re doing everything possible in terms of working with the clubs and football associations for a successful outcome," said Adelaide Tuivailala, Head of Women's Football at the TFA.
In the absence of football activity due to the pandemic, the TFA work with FIFA’s Women’s Football Division between April and June to develop a tailored women’s football strategy, before completing the tournament between the participating islands at the end of the year.