Click here to read the first episode
After a first episode talking about the current situation of Maxwell Keana and his absence in U17 World Cup, Oceania Football Center launches the second episode of a series of articles with everything that is related to the case. All information contained in the articles is verified and veridical.
As it was stated in the previous episode, there are some people interested on picking a fight with SIFF. One of these people might be “Puia” Konofilia.
Joel Moffat Konofilia, more known as Puia Konofilia, is a former Solomon Islands National Football Team player. He is banned from football in his country until July/2020 for punching a referee after a match back in 2017. It was not the first time he was penalized for his bad behaviour with referees: He was fined and suspended for one match for threats to referees in a match between Western United and West Honiara FC in the 2016 S-League.
Konofilia is a very known person in Solomon Islands and he is the president of Royals Academy, a football academy that takes Solomon Islanders to play at English Academies. And here starts some big problems between Joel and Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF).
According to local sources, Konofilia tried to borrow some money from SIFF in 2017 to take three players of Royals Academy to England but the request was denied because Konofilia did not disclose details about the trip, saying it was a “secret deal”. According to FIFA regulations, SIFF does not need to participate in Royals agreements as they are not affiliated SIFF. Konofilia also admitted to The Island Sun that the reason for not receiving the money was that he spent a period in jail in February 2017.
Some sources appointed Konofilia as the person behind Maxwell Keana’s letter to OFC but it was denied by Keana’s uncle – He stated that SIFF should stop blaming Konofilia and he also pointed that Keana was forced to lie his age when his passport was issued. SIFF claims that Providing personal information for issuing a passport is the responsibility of the applicant and his family, not the federation because it is a personal document.
Some former footballers advised Maxwell Keana to think twice about all this situation but it seems that he is not going to change his mind.
Oceania Football Confederation is currently running an investigation because Puia Konofilia and his assistant Alick Collins reportedly wrote a letter alleging that all Solomon Islands U17 National Team players were overaged. In this same letter they complain about the absence of Keana in the squad. Konofilia denies this information.
But it is quite interesting to see how much Konofilia and Royals Academy are interested on it. As you can check below, he refers to Maxwell as a son.
Konofilia also stated that Maxwell Keana is going to England in 2020, probably as a Royals Academy player. Maybe it is the reason for so many interest in the whole situation.
It is impossible to claim who is behind Maxwell Keana’s attitudes but it seems that there are some important people interested on it as you could check in this article.
Click here to read the third episode.