IDC Loses Magic, Sting

Let’s face it, the Courts Inter-District Championship is a flop these days. Not, just this year but going back to when they introduced 90-minute football to be played in the
10 Oct 2018 11:00
IDC Loses Magic, Sting

Let’s face it, the Courts Inter-District Championship is a flop these days.

Not, just this year but going back to when they introduced 90-minute football to be played in the tour­nament which they held over two consecutive weekends.

With this, came the change of venues depending on the top four teams that make it to the semi-finals.

Although there were good inten­tions behind the move it failed to produce results.

What used to be the country’s most popular and prestigious foot­ball tournament has lost its sting.

It’s boring… the same old, same old thing being done over and over again.

Even the level of skills, quality of play has really gone down to the dogs and it explains why thou­sands of fans have not only lost in­terest but hope as well.

To make matters worse is our FIFA rankings of 168 where we are ranked behind Tahiti, New Cal­edonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Never before has this happened in our football history.

So what’s next? Are the country’s football custodians going to keep following this path or are they looking for ways and means to help bring the magic of IDC football.

Then why don’t they go back to the format we had during the time we were regarded as king of Oce­ania football and were rubbing shoulders with the likes of New Zealand and Australia?

Yes, bring back 60 minutes foot­ball to be played on a knockout basis and held on a long weekend, starting on a Friday with the finals on a Monday, which is a public hol­iday. This will bring the best out of our players as they have time to recover, much fitter to cope with the fast-pace games which further boosts their skills level.

During the era when 60-minutes football was played in Fiji FA sanctioned- tournaments like the Battle of the Giants and the IDC, we had skilful players like Mike Thoman, Josaia Tubuna, Vula Wate, Semi Tabaiwalu, Meli Vui­labasa, Jone Nakosia, Julie Sami, Feroz Khan, Bale Raniga, Vim­lesh Singh, Anand Sami, Moham­med Salim, Abdul Mannan, Manu Pokar, Johnny Williams, Tony Ka­bakoro, Inia Bola, Savenaca Waqa, Epeli ‘Kosa’ Ragavatu, Sam Work, Aisea Mocelutu, Rusiate Waqa, Ivor Evans, Epeli Roqica, Ravua­ma Madigi, Tagi Vonolagi, Simon Peters, Radike Nawalu, Yogendra Datt. And the names go on.

Today, sadly, it’s rare to find play­ers of such calibre in our midst.

So, let’s urge Fiji FA to re-intro­duce 60 minutes football in next year’s IDC.

Even FIFA are considering a proposal to reduce each half of a game to 30 minutes in a bid to pre­vent time-wasting.

The FIFA supported Interna­tional Football Association Board (Ifab) has outlined a raft of radical proposed changes to the rules of the game in a new strategy docu­ment titled Play Fair! Adopting two halves of 30 minutes with the clock stopped when the ball goes out of play is one of the ideas put forward by Ifab in an attempt to make football more attractive.

Ifab says the proposal has three aims– to improve player behaviour and increase respect, to increase playing time and to increase fair­ness and attractiveness.

“Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time, that is when the ball is in play,” Ifab said in the document.

“The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and ‘speed up’ the game.”

Fiji FA should take heed and change course accordingly to fire up and breathe life back into the annual event which certainly lost its glitter and form over the years.


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