France To Help Fiji Football
French Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu Michel Djokovic is keen to assist in the development of football in the country. This is through exchanges between Fiji Football Association and the French Football Federation.
Speaking to Fiji Live, Ambassador Djokovic said he is pleased to know that there are more than 25,000 registered footballers in the country and his embassy would be interested to assist and work closely with Fiji FA.
“Football is the most followed sport in the world and as one of the bigger footballing nations in the world we would be delighted to assist the teams in the Pacific region,” he said.
“Football is the main sport in Tahiti and New Caledonia and our Government assists in the development of the sport. Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna and Nauru also have the sport growing slowly but I see the Fijian population is quite passionate about the sport and it is the second most followed and played sport here.
“We certainly would love to hold exchange programmes between Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti and other nations. “We know football is evolving and getting bigger here with the Fijian team heading off to the Olympic Games. “We are supporting the team and know the young Fijian players will surely get their much needed exposure by playing huge nations like Mexico and Germany.”
“Surely there is huge potential here and Fijian players can secure big overseas deals if they do well on the world stage.”
Ambassador Djokovic said he would be interested in meeting Fiji FA officials for more discussions and dialogues to facilitate exchanges between Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti and France.
“I will talk with the cooperation section here in the embassy and see how best we can facilitate the exchanges and assist Fiji in terms of football development and other programmes.”
Meanwhile, French residence in Suva hosted more than 50 guests as the Les Bleus played Portugal in the grand finale of the 2016 Euro Cup in Stade de France on Monday.
The guests included expatriates, members of the French community and members of European Union missions in Fiji and representatives of the British High Commission.
Fiji Football Association chief executive Bob Kumar, development officer Ronald Ram, accountant Praveen Singh and Fiji FA media liaison officer Avikash Chand were also in attendance.
“It was an important function for us because not only was France playing the final but it was also a final on our home soil.
So we decided to have a little get together and invite people to come and enjoy the game here at the French Residence,” said Ambassador Djokovic. “Football is the biggest sport in Europe and we got together to enjoy the beautiful game on a large screen and share some good moments. It was a very good final with Portugal winning in extra time.
Both teams played excellently and we congratulate Portugal for winning the tournament and also salute the French team for fighting hard and giving good performances especially against world champions Germany in the semi-finals.”
Portugal despite losing captain Cristiano Ronaldo managed to win their first major tournament thanks to substitute Eder’s superb extra-time strike.