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4 Wins, 7 Draws, 7s Losses, Gamel Bula Boys Need To Deliver

4 Wins, 7 Draws, 7s Losses, Gamel  Bula Boys Need  To Deliver
Vodafone Fiji football side in full cry against Solomon Islands at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on September 5,2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
September 07
10:00 2018

It seems little has changed and performance hardly convincing as fans continued to be bored by the same old same outcome delivered by our Vodafone Fijian  football team.

Since December, 2017 against New Caledonia, it has been close to a year since we last won.

We drew against Solomon Islands (0-0) at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu in December last year and nine months later, acquired the same (1-1) at the ANZ Stadium, Suva in the international friendly on Wednesday.

In fact we should count ourselves lucky after captain Roy Krishna scored from a penalty for the equaliser.

Football is the second most popular sport in the country and while our national sport, rugby continues to punch up its weight on the global front, football continues to struggle even to make a mark in the region.

Gone are the glory days when we used to be the team to beat.

We even beat the Socceroos and the All Whites but now we are quickly losing our international visibility.

Fiji Football Association has good intention and puts its plan in place, has done its best but it’s not milking the desired result.

Under coach Frank Farina we thought we laid the groundwork in 2015 where we took part in our first FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

In 2016, we took part in our first Olympic Games in Brazil and the squad had even played in renowned football nation like Spain to prepare.

But basically the same group of players, who have been exposed to top level competitions, are now under the watch of coach Christophe Gamel who took over in January 2017.

Promised to bring his own methodology, build for future, new style and culture and improve international visibility, Gamel is still struggling to find his feet in trying to carve out a winning formula for our national team.

Since taking the helm of the Bula Boys Gamel has recorded a win and three draws against Solomon Islands alone.

His success rate is very well below par.

Since March 2017, Gamel has been in charge for 18 games, winning four, lost sevens and drew seven.

Interestingly the four wins were against Tuvalu, Tonga, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.

This is hardly acceptable for a coach of his caliber.

He seems to be losing the plot and need help for direction to get him back on track.

Under his charge we lost to New Zealand, Philippines, Malaysia Estonia, Indonesia and  we are currently ranked 165th in the FIFA rankings.

Gamel’s Bula Boys will camp in Ba before travelling to 169th ranked Singapore on Saturday for its second international friendly of the current FIFA window next week.

Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel continues to set the bar in the launching of next month’s Courts Inter-District Championship yesterday.

Not only is he trying to re-establish Fiji as one of footballing nations in the region, he wants Fiji to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

Gamel and the Bula Boys must take heed and get to work as their record so far has been hardly convincing.

Fiji, sponsors and fans deserved better and more.


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