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Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel (back row, fifth from left), with the Fijian Under-23 team at the Ba Football Academy on Monday night. Photo: Vodafone
July 01
09:11 2015

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel has promised monetary rewards to the Fijian Under-23 and Fijian Women’s teams if they win gold medals at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

Patel said the aim of the Fijian men’s and women team was to win the gold medal and a qualification to the Rio Olympics next year.

He promised a big bonus will be on their way upon a flourishing finish.

“We promise to reward $50,000 for Fiji men’s team and $25,000 for the women’s team. The men’s team is upon winning gold medal and earn direct qualification to Rio,” Patel said.

“As you have recently followed our Under-20 team to the FIFA World Cup, they produced results and we rewarded them. On the same token, I would like to see this team prove themselves to the country and critics that we’re no slouch.”

Patel is confident that the men’s squad named for the Pacific Games on Monday night in Ba would make Fijians proud.

“You got excellent players and there’s great confidence that this team will do well. There’s nothing less to win gold.”

Meanwhile, the 2015 Pacific Games Women’s Football tournament will double as Stage One of the OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier. IOC member associations: Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga, are taking part with the only non-IOC member association participating that of New Caledonia.

In this event, a group of four teams and another of three teams will play a round robin on a league basis.

The winner and runner-up of each group qualifies for the semi-final and the winner of each of those matches will contest the Pacific Games gold medal.

The highest ranked IOC Member Association will qualify for Stage Two, where a home-and-away play-off against New Zealand in October awaits them.

Meanwhile, former U20 and Suva striker Rusiate Matererega was named to lead the men’s team and assisted by Fijian U20 captain Jale Dreloa.

“A lot of hopes rest on our shoulders. This is a big competition and we promise to do our best from our hearts and bring back the gold medal,” Matererega said.

Vodafone’s head of enterprise development Antonio Kitione said this was a great opportunity for the players to make their country proud.

He said the desire to do well for the country must come from within the players.

“When you don the national jumper, it must ignite that feeling of patriotism and die for my flag and country attitude.

“You are all very fortunate to representing your country,” Kitione said.

He acknowledged the effort, dedication and commitment shown by every player, team officials and Fiji FA for their part in preparations and gave his best wishes ahead of the Pacific Games.

Fiji U23: Rusiate Matererega (Cpt), Jale Dreloa (Vc), Senirusi Bokini, Ravinesh Dass, Praneel Naidu, Kolinio Sivoki, Jale Dreloa, Saula Waqa, Manasa Nawaikula, Antonio Tuivuna, Iosefo Verevou, Christopher Wasasala, Tevita Waranivalu, Filipe Baravilala, Garish Prasad, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Sakaraia Naisua, Nickel Chand, Viliame Bawai, Savenaca Nakalevu, Tevita Koroi.




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