Island News

Fiji Cup soccer extravaganza

Written By : ARVIND KUMAR. The inaugural tournament, which has attracted the best teams from Fiji, will be played from February 16-20 at the new Centre Park Sports Stadium Mangere.
29 Jan 2011 12:00

Written By : ARVIND KUMAR. The inaugural tournament, which has attracted the best teams from Fiji, will be played from February 16-20 at the new Centre Park Sports Stadium Mangere.
The tournament’s organising chairman, Ayaaz Khan, said competition was being held to mark the official opening of the $2 million stadium built by the Mangere United Soccer Club and was the first outside of Fiji.
“We are all proud and look forward to the support from people and fans of football in and around Auckland,” Khan told the Indian Weekender this week.
“The stadium has been completed and will house all major Fiji tournaments and will be home to The Mangere United Soccer Club.”
Four teams from Fiji – Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Suva – have confirmed participation, four NZ IDC semifinalists and two Sydney teams will make up the 10-team competition.
Khan said he was grateful to Fiji Football Association executives, including president Dr Muhammed Shams-ud-dean Sahu Khan, who will be attending the opening of the tournament.
“We need this tournament to help us in getting to maintain the stadium which consists of four teams’ changing rooms, a paramedic room, a boardroom downstairs for meetings, a canteen and storage rooms,” Khan said.
“The upper level consists of a bar, a canteen with kitchen, a commentary booth, an office for the Club, and a hall to cater for around 300 people.
“The stadium will cater for 1000 spectators and the enclosure also has an embankment which will have room for around 2000 spectators.
“We intend to also put temporary stands behind the two goal posts which again will give fans more sitting space.”
Khan said fans were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Fiji teams and the tournament and also to enjoy the new facilities.
“This will be a big carnival with food stalls and children’s fun filled entertainment and the five day event will create the Fiji IDC environment for those who have not seen the Fiji tournaments for some time.
“This is Fiji soccer at its best in your own backyard.”
Fan clubs have also been established – Lautoka – Dylan Datt contact: 09 270 2011, cell: 027 2711244. Nadi – Nur Ahmad 09 279 2276; Suva: Maritino Nemani 021 207 2716; Ba – Shameem Ali 021 705 045.
Khan said the participation of the Fiji teams was through invitation and approved by Fiji FA
“A big thank you to Dr S Khan, Bob Kumar and Fiji FA for their support and also the four top teams from Fiji.
“My committee consists of former Fiji Football ambassadors and include the likes of MR Satyawan Singh, former Fiji FA VP and administrator, Maritino Nemani Former Fiji Rep and president of Suva Soccer, Iliyas Daud founder of the veterans association in NZ, Mohammed Imran the president of Mangere United and NZFAFC and the man behind the Stadium Project, James Kado the founder of Fiji Football in NZ, Nur Ahmed former Nadi rep and another founder of Fiji Football in NZ together with Bobby Chandra, Shameem, Dylan Datt and Kiran Chandra former Suva Soccer VP, just to name a few.
“Also are former stalwarts like Vimlesh Singh, the former Fiji great, and the entire hardworking members of the NZ Fiji AFC who will all stand proud when the dust settles on Sunday the 20th of February at the completion of the final match.”

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