SPORTS

Gamel Wants More Teams In Premier League

Christophe Gamel wants more football teams playing in Fiji’s top division, the Voda­fone Premier League. But the Vodafone national foot­ball coach acknowledged the ‘big change’ would be difficult to achieve.
27 Oct 2018 11:00
Gamel Wants More Teams In Premier League
Vodafone Fijian football head coach Christophe Gamel (left) with national captain Roy Krishna. Photo: Fiji FA Media

Christophe Gamel wants more football teams playing in Fiji’s top division, the Voda­fone Premier League.

But the Vodafone national foot­ball coach acknowledged the ‘big change’ would be difficult to achieve.

The league was reduced to eight teams in 2013 when Vodafone Fiji and CJ Patel Group of Companies signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Fiji Football Association worth $5 million.

Gamel says, he will lobby the Fiji FA board to either consider in­cluding 14 to 16 teams, or turn the league professional.

He believes increasing the num­ber of teams will lift the quality of football in Fiji and bring consist­ency to the league.

“For that we will need to change things in Fiji FA’s constitution. We will need to discuss with all stake­holders before it can happen,” he said.

“I need to meet with the board and push for this. There will be a lot of challenges but I want to push for an increase (in the number clubs).”

When contacted, Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said the matter was in­ternal and refused to comment.

Fiji FA hoped the decision to re­duce the number of teams would increase competition in the league.

Having two fewer teams also re­duces the number of matches in a season and hence the costs for Fiji FA.

The sponsorship deal with Voda­fone expires this year.

The mobile giant has written to Fiji FA expressing its intent to re­new the deal, Patel confirmed.

Vodafone Fiji confirmed they are interested in a new deal.

Fiji FA plans to introduce a fran­chise league in 2020.

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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