Fiji Sports

Format hurts soccer: sponsor

By JYOTI PRATIBHA The sponsors of the National Football League, CJP/Fiji Sun, are waiting for official communication from the Fiji Football Association regarding the defeating of the motion to improve
11 Oct 2012 11:25

Fiji Football Association executives (from left), vice-president Tarunesh Reddy, chief executive officer Bob Kumar and vice-president Shiek Ibrahim at the annual congress in Ba on Tuesday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA


The sponsors of the National Football League, CJP/Fiji Sun, are waiting for official communication from the Fiji Football Association regarding the defeating of the motion to improve the league format.
It came after heated debate in the Fiji Football Association annual congress in Ba on Tuesday.
CJ Patel group marketing director Nathan Hildebrand said as sponsors of the event, they needed to see that the intensity of the game increases.
“We have yet to receive the actual official proposal from Fiji FA so it is hard to comment at this stage – we will no doubt meet with Fiji FA executives soon to hear what is being proposed moving forward,”Hilderbrand said.
“The primary objective we want to address as sponsors is to increase the intensity and competition to improve overall spectator support. In doing so we are ensuring that we are maximising our investment,”
The proposal had included reducing the number of teams in the super premier division to lift standards and make it more competitive and to play more double headers at one venue to lift crowd support.
Hildebrand said in the current format, the National Football League is not working.
“The results are evident. Poor attendance at games and limited exposure mean that as sponsors, we are not getting value for our investment. If we are to continue as sponsors, the FFA must address and resolve how they intend to ensure greater public interest, and more public attendance and participation at the games.”
He said they hoped that any decision Fiji FA makes is in the best interests of the future of Fiji Football.
“Current FIFA rankings show that Fiji is struggling and we must improve domestic competition, if we expect to improve internationally. We will wait to receive the sponsorship proposal from Fiji Football Association National Football league Board and then we will make a determination after internal consultation,” Hildebrand said.
The motion was defeated after much heated debate between factions who were for and against the motion. The meeting took a heated turn and it had to be controlled by the Fiji FA Board before a scuffle broke out between the Ba and Nadi officials.
Former Rewa Football president and Rewa delegate Pranil Singh said he was disappointed at the decision taken at the congress at Ba Tuesday night.
“Foremost, it is disappointing that motion got defeated. For a very long time everyone, including the districts that voted against the motion that been pushing Fiji FA to make some changes to improve the competition level locally so that they can attract more sponsors towards the team and public as well.
“It is rather disappointing that the very people who have been pushing for change and blaming Fiji FA for not making the right decision have turned their back on a motion that would have made the change.
“There has been so much talk about Fiji FA not doing anything but last night was a chance for all districts to come together to take a bold step to help make the change to see football progress to next level. It is rather unfortunate that, Ba who have been doing well are too self-centered and selfish and have been in the forefront in the blockage of the new format,” Singh said.
He said to blame Fiji FA for the performance of the national team may not be totally correct.
“We don’t have a competitive league played for the full year of 90-minute football to give coaching team and selectors a better view of the players participating. This affects us at the international scene as well because we always select players from tournament format which is played for 60 minutes.
“In my view we were not going forward with the current format and now that the new format proposed defeated, we are still where we were as of yesterday.”

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