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Fiji Sun

Fiji Sports

The father of Football

October 30
12:00 2008

Written By : SUN FIJI SPORTSDESK. FASANOC president Vidhya Lakhan will host the Fiji Sports Hall of fame and Fiji Olympic Order dinner at Tradewinds Entertainment Centre tonight.
Leading up to this event FASANOC takes the opportunity to flashback to an outstanding recipient of the Fiji Olympic Order.
With the successes of the Ba football team in the 2008 Battle of the Giants tournament and their participation in the O -League and the upcoming Champion versus Champion series, it is timely to look back at a football personality who, in his day was a pillar of strength for the Men in Black.
Sashi Mahendra Singh is revered and respected in the realms of soccer in the country. He served Ba and Fiji as a representative during the period 1939-1954.
He was elected a vice president of Fiji Football Association (FFA) in 1955 where he voluntarily relinquished the position in 1969. He also served as the national coach from 1960-1976 with a break of two years only. This included coach of the national team to the inaugural South Pacific Games held in Fiji in 1963 where the side won silver. Sashi was a pillar of strength for both the Ba Football Association and the FFA. His success as an administrator and a coach is reflected by the fact that he was appointed Treasurer of the Oceania Football Confederation where he served 20 years, retiring in 1988. He had the unique distinction of being appointed coach and manger of a Taiwan team and arranged for a World Cup game to be played in Fiji between Australia and Taiwan. He was responsible for gaining recognition in FIFA for Taiwan and was awarded a gold medal by the Taiwanese Government for his support.
Sashi introduced the national league competition and created the first and second divisions in the Inter District soccer tournament.
He was instrumental in introducing the round robin format in lieu of the knockout system.
He left behind a rich legacy in Fiji soccer with two of his sons as players and coach for Ba and one as the National coach for many years. Apart from his love of soccer Sashi had a very colorful sporting career that included the following.
Hockey – Foundation member (1940) and president, Ba Hockey association; Foundation member and selector of Fiji Hockey association
Cricket -player (1938) and captain for Ba scoring over a century on two occasions; player for North West District against MCC team; secretary Ba cricket assosistion , vice president Fiji Cricekt; president Ba Cricket (1970) and Patron up until his death in 1990;
Tennis -keen player having won the Junior Championship of Fiji Indian LTA of which he became a vice president.
Athletics – keen athlete who was a foundation member of the Ba athletics association and became secretary of the association
Boxing & Wrestling – 8 years assistance as ring side referee of both associations
Rugby- patron of Ba Rugby association
In 2005 in recognition of his contribution to sport in Fiji and in particular to the sport of football both nationally and regionally FASANOC was proud to confer posthumously the Fiji Olympic Order to the late Sashi Mahendra Singh.
In conferring the Fiji Olympic Order FASANOC recognizes the outstanding contributions at the highest level of service in the development of sports for a minimum of 15 years.
The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame and Fiji Olympic Order Ceremony is the Blue Ribbon event on FASANOC’S annual calendar.

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