Solomon Islands
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Leading Revolution in Football Commentary

Elizabeth Osifelo has made Solomon Islands history by becoming the first female football commentator.

She was one of the female commentators currently giving live commentaries at the OFC Women’s Champions League 2023 in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

It all began in 2019 officially being part of the ABC International Development (ABCID) Women in News and Sports) WINS.

In a male-dominated national sport, she was identified by the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) for tryouts and to test her capability by taking up the microphone at Lawson Tama stadium.

“SIFF gave me the platform and even though there haven’t really been any women who have done football commentary I knew this was not going to sit well with the listeners and viewers,” she told SIFF Media.

“A very daunting task but I took the chance and coming from a radio background really helped me.

Against all odds being a female, she took the bold step with passion.

“The first biggest challenge is being a female and never has a female done it before for football in the Solomon Islands. Plunging into commentary knowing very well it would be challenging and I will receive many negative responses. Cultural norms also made her uncomfortable and uneasy to take the role in the first place."

“I’m being fully aware that this cannot be mastered overnight and an area that takes years and years to master,” she said.

“The honor is upon oneself to be prepared to call any given match and just have thick skin to overcome negative responses, take note of the constructive critics and never give up.

The WINS programme has introduced her to much more structured training, having a basic understanding of calling the game.

“But I was very fortunate to have the support of SIFF – that gave me the platform to actually put to work. SIFF Media team has been very supportive, having the trust and confidence in me to try out,” Elizabeth stated.

She covered the national Solomon Cup 2022 and did her first OFC commentary, and her first regional task was the current OFC Women’s Champions League 2023. She adds that being part of the OFC team has been a learning curve for her, and working with experts in the field has added to her experience.

Elizabeth recently was selected as one of the four female participants from the Solomon Islands for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Commentary and Mobile Journalism Training program.

“I personally want to thank SIFF, my family, friends, and colleagues who have continued to show support towards my commentary journey,” says Elizabeth.

She continued that there is a huge gap to fill in terms of having women in football commentary in the country and the Oceania region.

“My journey in the commentary is fairly new and not my full-time job but something I would like to pursue professionally and a craft that I would like to keep practicing and perfecting.

“I would like to sharpen my commentary work, and at the same, I would like to support and encourage more interested females to take this up and start hearing more female voices in football.

Source: Press Release, SIFF Media