Solomon Islands to participate in invitational tournament in Malaysia

The Solomon Islands senior men’s team have been invited to take part in the Airmarine Cup in Malaysia.

The tournament, set to take place on March 20-23, is being organised by the Malaysian FA to try to bolster their FIFA rankings ahead of the next World Cup qualifiers.

President of the Solomon Islands Football Federation, William Lai, tells Football in Oceania:

“It will be a first ever kind of trip. We aspire to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, or, if there will be 48 teams, in 2022. It is an opportunity we cannot refuse as we attempt to slowly break into world football.”

It was originally thought that New Zealand would participate, but the Solomon Islands were invited instead when the Kiwis pulled out at the last minute, according to

The other two teams in the tournament are Oman and Singapore, who sit 90th and 165th in the FIFA World Rankings.

Malaysia are number 167 in that ranking, with the Solomon Islands currently sitting in 143rd place.