Football | SPORTS

Patel Farewells Team

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel reminded the Vodafone Fiji Olympic players of their participation at the Rio Olympics in Brazil. Speaking during the team’s farewell dinner at Ba Academy
28 Jul 2016 11:23
Patel Farewells Team
Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel poses with Vodafone Fiji football Olympic rep Joseph Turagabeci and his family during the farewell dinner at Ba Academy on Monday.

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel reminded the Vodafone Fiji Olympic players of their participation at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Speaking during the team’s farewell dinner at Ba Academy on Monday evening Patel said most of them would never have been to a world stage event like this.

Some of them he said had been to the U20 World Cup in New Zealand but the Rio Olympics was quite different.

“It is second to none. Only 16 teams will be represented in the Olympics whereas in the World Cup we have 32, it’s only half the teams, so you became the elites of the elites to play in the Olympics,” he said.

“Savor this moment, make sure you are disciplined. It is the key. When you are on the field, play your hearts out.”

He urged players to play within the law and play as a team.

“Don’t play as an individual it is the country you represent. It’s not table tennis or lawn tennis, it as an eleven man game, together as a team you will win.

Patel told them that the people would them count them out.

“Don’t worry about it we have done surprises in New Zealand in the FIFA U20 world cup when we beat Honduras and anything can happen if you play and stick to the coaches’ plan and play your hearts out for your country, vanua and family.”

He reminded them that they would be flying the Fiji flag where most did not know what Fiji was all about or where Fiji was on the world map. “You will show them.”

Even though Fiji was a small island nation, Patel said they were not there to make up numbers as they should play their hearts out.

The team left for Brazil on Tuesday and will play its first match against Korea on August 4 in Salvador.

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