What most people know about Tahitian football could be written on the back of a postcard, and that would probably be a list of goal-scorers against Tahiti in their 2013 Confederations Cup.
However, the league and the national side are far more interesting than they may seem. Although the league is amateur, competition is rife, and the league is often dominated by different teams in two year stints.
AS Dragon, AS Tefana, AS Manu-Ura and AS Pirae have all taken turns in dominating the league over the last decade. Thus creating the 'top four' a lot like the English Premier League.
The league used to be dominated by AS Central Sport, a side with mainly migrant French players who came to the French Polynesia to win everything (basically the Manchester City of the Tahitian First Division).
They won the league 20 times between 1955 and 1985, until the Tahitian Football Association limited the number of non-Tahiti born players to three which can play for one team at any time. This brought to end the dominance of AS Central Sport and opened up the division entirely.
Tahitian history is varied, with European and Asian conquerors having settled and transfused their culture with that of the natives. AS Dragon, like AS Central Sport with the French population of Tahiti, represents the Chinese population of of the country. The derbies between AS Central Sport and AS Dragon have been described as similar intensity to international fixtures.
Steevy Chong Hue, Tahiti's top goal scorer with 10 goals in 25 games and scorer of the only goal in the OFC Nations Cup final against New Caledonia is the key player at AS Dragon. His12 goals in 20 games lead AS Dragon to their second title in as many years.
Chong Hue is one of the few Tahitian footballers to venture into European football, as he joined BX Brussels in Belgium with fellow compatriot Alvin Tehau. Alvin is one of three Tehau brothers who played for Tahiti in the 2012 OFC Nations Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup (an international record of brothers playing together).
Twin brothers Lorenzo and Alvin and older brother Jonathan (the scorer of the goal against Nigeria) and cousin Teaonui Tehau really mirrored the unity of such a small nation.
Then there is Marama Vahirua, the only ever professional Tahitian footballer, capped by the France U21 side and had a steady career in France with Nantes, Nice, Lorient, Nancy and Monaco before retiring in Greece with Panthrakikos.
He was called up by national coach Eddy Etaeta after the 2012 OFC Nations Cup on a whim that he might play after not featuring for Tahiti in order to leave his availability open to France. He accepted the call and boosted the team's confidence, as they were approaching the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, where they had to play Nigeria, Uruguay and World Cup winners Spain. They, in reality, needed all the confidence they could get.
Nonetheless, they went to the Confederations Cup knowing full well that they would be beaten. But their confidence ensured they didn't get beaten as heavily as imagined. Etaeta urged them to score just a goal and he would feel happy, that happened in a 6-1 defeat to Nigeria.
They then lost 10-0 to Spain and 8-0 to Uruguay. But that was a valiant effort, 10-0 by Spain was very surprising from a team full of amateurs against a multi-million pound side. They kept their heads high, and fantastic performances from the Tehau quartet, Steevy Chong Hue and Marama Vahirua who added another dimension to the side meant we all became Tahiti supporters for the Confederations Cup.
What an emotional story, summarised by their elated mood despite conceding 24 goals in three games.
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