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Fiji Football Association: Is He The One?

Fiji FA made former Ghana national coach Goran Stevanovic their prime target after the Frenchman’s departure, according to president Rajesh Patel.
14 Dec 2019 17:07
Fiji Football Association: Is He The One?
Goran Stevanovic (right) on the sidelines with rival manager Fabio Capello for Ghana’s 1-1 draw against England in 2011.

The Fiji Football Association has identified another European coach to replace Christophe Gamel, although his services are unlikely to come cheap.

Gamel resigned in August after a controversial two-and-a-half-year reign, winning just 11 of his 31 games in charge and failing to reach the Pacific Games final.

Fiji FA made former Ghana national coach Goran Stevanovic their prime target after the Frenchman’s departure, according to president Rajesh Patel.

“We are looking at Goran but he will cost us more than a million dollars a year,” Patel said in an interview yesterday.

“We’ve had many applications come through from which our technical director (Ravinesh Kumar), with help from OFC, will finalise a shortlist before we conduct interviews.”

The 53-year-old Stevanovic is a former Serbian player, who famously coached Ghana to a 1-1 draw against Fabio Capello’s England at Wembley Stadium in 2011.

He has previously coached La Liga’s Osasuna and Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade, who play in the UEFA Europa League, and is currently with Chinese division two club, Qingdao Jonoon.

In 2017, Fiji FA set a target of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

While that may seem unrealistic at this stage given the side’s recent results, securing Stevanovic’s services would represent a step in the right direction.

Gamel’s position became untenable as the underwhelming results racked up and accusations of assault were levelled against him by his own players.

The appointment of a top-level coach with wide-ranging international experience could re-energise the team in time to spark a genuine push for 2026.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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