Football | SPORTS

Rajesh Patel Clears Air

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel says administrators are always reminded to walk the talk. He was speaking in the lead up to the FFA presidential election for the 77th
25 Sep 2015 10:55
Rajesh Patel Clears Air
Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel.

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel says administrators are always reminded to walk the talk.

He was speaking in the lead up to the FFA presidential election for the 77th FFA National Congress at the Regional Football Academy in Ba on October 6.

He also responded to claims by former Rewa president Pranil Singh about poor administration and financial management.

Patel said they were transparent in terms of money grants and ranking.

“If we had not been transparent there would be questions posed by districts,” Patel said.


Financial status

“This is our first four-year term. When we came in we cleared a lot of financial debt that was given to us by the former president. Till we get our finances right we couldn’t be giving grants to the districts,” he said.

He said there had been strategies put in place to fix the financial crisis of yester years about the running of football in the country.

“Now we have straightened it up. Before everything was restricted even our loans. We have got our better interest rates from the banks and now we are receiving money and in much healthier position.


District grants

Patel said as the financial gets healthier they will begin giving bigger grants.

“This has allowed us to give grants to the districts which rightfully deserve. This is not only the first year we will be giving the grant. But it will be every year from now and onwards because we have strengthen our financial positions.


National team ranking

Patel said they had been in office for the last four years now with achievement. Ranking has improved.

“We will improve that further so this is something people can say they want.”

He said Fiji was ranked 192 in 2014 and had moved up to 181 this year.



Patel said they also increased the prizemoney to the tournaments, players and fans enjoying the games too. He said sponsors were happy with the way things were moving.

“We don’t get as much money as what other sports get in this country we generate our own finances. We are not other sports where we get handouts; this is something fans and people don’t realise.

“We have done it in the last four years and the results speak. We thank all the sponsors that have come on board and we will be great going with the sponsorship and if it expires we will negotiate with them again.

“We thank Vodafone, CJ Patel Group and Courts as well. They are all happy with the progress Fiji FA has made and this is something very positive the districts are happy and they have been supporting us.

“To the districts, we have figured everything and are improving. This is something the districts have seen over the years, the development done.

“I know the districts will make a wise decision come the election day, and people say that it is not open, but it is.”



He said there had been dramatic development, over the years.

“We’ve got 24 development centres in the country in the north right from Bua, Seaqaqa and Nadogo with 12 Centres of Excellence established from last year.

“We come in again surely with confident the district is supporting us from all the work that we have done centres all over Viti Levu and Vanua Levu we have decided even in Levuka to open a development centre to revive soccer for Levuka Association.

An opening in Savusavu is beneficial and Taveuni to be opened by end of this year.

“We have discussed it and identified the schools and everything which is available that we have done positively. We may have got so many development officers now in former soccer players and development officers all over.



“We have revived FUTSAL as well and getting around more development officers on part time basis. There is the regional technical director north to be based there very soon.


New academy in North

He said FIFA has approved in building a academy in North already so this is all the development.

“If people are saying we are not doing any development they must be blind. The record itself speaks now and this is something they should understand and if we are given more time then we will develop further.

“The 90 minutes football that we have started has shown positive results for the national teams for the under-20 and the under-23 who have qualified and benefitted from it as well.

“The districts are benefitting as well according to the level of football that is being played now. These are the positive things that we have seen. The ticket prices have also gone down so that more fans can enjoy and this is something as we go along we can correct it.”




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