Opinion

Forget World Cup, Help Gamel Make Fijian Football Better

Our dream to play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is now over. Despite our Vodafone national football team’s courageous efforts against the New Zealand All Whites, we
02 Apr 2017 10:10
Forget World Cup, Help Gamel Make Fijian Football Better
Vodafone Fijian football coach Christophe Gamel.

Our dream to play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is now over. Despite our Vodafone national football team’s courageous efforts against the New Zealand All Whites, we still came out second best in the two qualifying matches we played against them.

In fact, it would have been even closer if not for the mistakes made by the defenders that saw the All Whites score both their goals in the first qualifying clash in Lautoka last Saturday.

The penalty that came after centre back Peniame Drova handled the ball in the penalty area and the error by goalkeeper Beniamino Mateinaqara when he lost the ball while trying to dribble past Marco Rojas.

In the return clash on Tuesday at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, we managed to hold our own against the All Whites but it was their experience in such situation that saw them edge us.

Captain Roy Krishna said that they gave their all but the fact they were playing against a professional outfit had taken its toll on the team.

It was unfortunate that we had to play the All Whites first. However, the two qualifying matches have helped head coach Christophe Gamel analyse our play and areas that he needs to work on. The French national has called on football followers in the country to be patient as he works on building up a formidable side. Ever since he took over from last year, Gamel has been stressing the importance of attitude and the need for all local stakeholders to change their mindset about football. Now we are living in the age of professionalism and we cannot be holding onto the past which actually hinders our progress.

Although the All Whites have moved on to the next round, for Gamel the remaining qualifying matches against New Caledonia is not just mere formality. He said it’s about Fiji stamping its mark as the best football nation in the Oceania Island region.

And the only way they could do that is to win their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying clash which is set for June 7 at Churchill Park, Lautoka, and later repeat that feat on their return clash on June 11 at Stade Numa-Daly Magenta in Noumea.

Again, the country’s football fraternity need to understand that the rebuilding process is going to take some time.

Gamel has a vision of pushing our football team forward. He cannot do the work alone but needs to be supported not only by the fans but by the district officials and those in Fiji Football Association as well.

This is the only way to go if we are to improve our FIFA rankings and make our mark in the world of football.



Five square Da Bang Sale


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