Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho the Royal Patron of Tonga Football Association bestows Tonga National Women’s Football Team with a special honour
PRESS RELEASE 26th April, 2022.
Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho warmly welcomed the Tonga National Women’s Football Team, which is currently in Australia to undertake a high-performance training camp in preparation for the OFC Women’s World Cup Qualifying in July 2022.
During a gathering at the Valentine Sports Park yesterday, HRH Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho, who is also the High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia and Royal Patron of the Tonga Football Association, commended the squad for their dedication as sportswomen and representatives of the country.
After meeting each of the players, as well as the traveling party, Her Royal Highness bestowed the team with the traditional moniker ‘Mataliki’. The name, literally translated as “Chiefly eyes”, also refers to the star cluster also known as the Pleiades. It is said to be a reference to the keystone Christian faith of Tonga, as well as the stellar line up of the team. The squad comprises mainly Tonga-based players as well as several from the Tongan diaspora, including national players from Canada, the United States and Australia.
Her Royal Highness emphasized the importance of godliness in the team’s training and preparations, recalling the national motto, ‘Ko e ‘Otua mo Tonga ko hotau tofi’a’, or ‘God and Tonga are our inheritance’.
The Tonga Football Association conveyed their gratitude to their Royal Patron for the recognition, pledging to live up to their new title.
During their stay in Australia, the ‘Mataliki’ team will be based at the New South Wales Academy. They will face the National Women’s team of the Philippines in two friendly games and three other games with top academies in Australia. The team is also gearing up for the qualifying games to be held in July, competing with fellow Pacific Island teams in Fiji.