16
Oct

Tahiti FA now awards 1 point for losses to ‘prevent sadness’

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Get pumped, Tahiti. Losing isn’t so bad.

A recent, bizarre rule change in Tahitian soccer has softened the blow for losing teams considerably.

Tahiti’s Football Association have revamped their scoring system in the domestic leagues so that winners now pick up four points instead of three, a draw yields two points, and losers pick up one point. Yes, losing teams now literally get rewarded just for showing up.

And here’s the kicker: it’s all because they “don’t want anyone to be sad.”

FA director Charles Ariiotima explained the compensation for losers, which as far as we know is the first of its kind, to ESPN Brasil:

We just don’t want anyone to be sad. With this system, even if a team loses every game, they won’t be on zero points at the end of the season. Football, first of all is joy.

Think we’re kidding? Here’s some hard, black-on-white proof:

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Tahiti knows a thing or two about losing, of course, though they never seemed particularly upset about it. Tahiti’s national team had a memorable time in Brazil during this summer’s Confederations Cup, despite losing all three of its games and getting outscored a whopping 24 goals to 1.

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Yayyy, losing!

H/T 101GG

22
Jun

Tahiti midfielder was Fernando Torres’ honeymoon tour guide in 2007

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It truly is a small world.

While Spain’s 10-0 destruction of Tahiti in the FIFA Confederations Cup dominated the headlines, there was a very interesting subplot between the two teams.

Tahiti midfielder Efrain Arenada is only a part-time player, like many of his teammates. When he’s not on the pitch, he works as a tour guide for the French Polynesian island. One of his guests in 2007? Fernando Torres.

Torres traveled to Tahiti for his honeymoon six years ago when he was still a member of Atletico Madrid. Arenada recalls the meeting between the two:

"Those days were wonderful. I used to greet people with a flower wreath when they arrived to the airport. I received Torres, took him to his hotel and took him back to the airport for his departure. In fact, I remember he left his honeymoon because he had to go sign for Liverpool."

While Arenada is in Brazil as the 24th man, only there as a substitute if someone on the 23-man Tahiti roster gets injured, he was still able to see Torres unleash a four goal assault on his overmatched country, but he understands the difference between the teams.

"We are aware that there’s a huge difference between our team against the others. Our message is that we are here to enjoy our time and have respect for the others. I mean, we are not here to kick or injure other players."

(H/T Marca)

22
Jun

2013 Confederations Cup, Weekend Preview - Six Things to Watch

By Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com

RECIFE, BRAZIL

The Confederations Cup group stage wraps up here this weekend with the top of the group at stake in the Group A, and all to play for in Group B. Here’s a quick look at six things you must pay attention to this weekend:

Can Nigeria upset Spain?

The African champions sent a young team to this Confederations Cup and that may prove their undoing: while they have plenty of desire and power in the likes of Brown Ideye and Ahmed Musa, their defense has shown their inexperience. Against a Spanish side that seems to be rolling from strength to strength, this seems like a tall order on Sunday for the Super Eagles. One positive is manager Stephen Keshi: he’s managed to make this at times unruly bunch gel, so if anyone can get this team ready to go, it’s him.

Read More

17
Jun

Tahiti official Twitter account goes berserk over lone goal vs Nigeria

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Nearly everyone expected massive underdog Tahiti to get crushed by every opponent they faced in the Confederations Cup, and that’s precisely what’s happened so far after their 6-1 defeat at the hands of Nigeria.

While they may not have the most talent in the tournament, you can argue that Tahiti has more pride than any other team. They have considered it a blessing to be in the tournament at all and are enjoying every minute of it.

Despite being blown out, the official Tahiti football Twitter showed just how much pride they have:

Alright, maybe that last tweet was a little overambitious, but credit Tahiti fans and supporters for getting behind the team no matter what.

14
Jun

5 reasons to root for Tahiti in the 2013 Confederations Cup

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On the eve of the 2013 Confederations Cup, we take a look at the team that is so vastly overmatched that it’s hard not to root for them. Here are five reasons to get behind Tahiti:

1) They are the ultimate underdog story. This is their first Confederations Cup appearance; they have never been to a tournament of this magnitude. They are currently the 138th ranked team in the world and have never been ranked above 111th.

2) They have one full-time professional soccer player on the team. Marama Vahirua plays for the Greek side Panthrakikos FC, a 10th place club in the Greek Super League, and scored 3 goals in 26 appearances. The rest of the team is full of part-time players who make a living as butchers, bakers, etc.

3) The team has four members from the same family. The Tehau family is represented by brothers Alvin, Lorenzo, Jonathan and their cousin Teaonui. All are under 25 years old and will hopefully have excellent stories to tell at the next family barbecue.

4) The city of Brasilia, home to the Confederations Cup opener, has a population 10 times the size of the country Tahiti. It will be hard to find a set of people happier and more appreciative than the Tahiti national team. Regardless of the result, they will surely have the biggest smiles you’ll see this summer.

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Odds via SkyBet

5) A $20 bet on Tahiti to win the entire tournament could net you $100,000. Let’s go Tahiti!