SPORTS

Big Sporting Plans For 2019

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Youth and Sports Maretino Nemani says, the national football team need, to play more international games if they are to improve on their world rankings.
23 Jan 2019 10:00
Big Sporting Plans For 2019
Permanent Secretary for Ministry for Youth and Sports Maretino Nemani. Photo: Grace Narayan

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Youth and Sports Maretino Nemani says, the national football team need, to play more international games if they are to improve on their world rankings.

The Vodafone national men’s football side are currently at 167th position in the latest FIFA rankings.

“It’s sad to say that I’ve played and captained the national football side and we had a better ranking than this,” he said.

“There is nothing to take away from Fiji Football and I believe they also have a plan to improve their rankings. And they need to really work hard in order to achieve that.

“They need to play more international games I suppose to build on their ranking and that is possible if we only build our teams from grassroots level.”

Nemani played for the national side under the late coach Billy Singh as they beat Australia 1-0 in 1988 during the 1990 World Cup final qualifier at Prince Charles Park, Nadi. Earlier on they had beaten New Zealand on their way to the final.

Five weeks into his new role, Nemani confirmed that for 2019 there are big plans ahead for sporting federations as they’ve lined-up major competitions for them to compete in.

“I will be concentrating on various aspects that are ongoing for sports in the country and build on the success that has been done previously.

“My role is to work together with the various sporting federations, sports councils and commission. Sports in Fiji are not only growing but beneficial to the players and also sustainable in terms of employment.

“In terms of the fifteens rugby- the Flying Fijians have beaten France during the November internationals and it wasn’t an easy task and I would like to thank Fiji Rugby Union for that. Also I wish them the very best for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

“Rugby league has also come a long way in getting to where they are today. Also all other sports like athletics and a few others have been doing exceptionally well.

“And one of the sports that I would like to see progress is boxing and it’s great to see how promoters and the Fiji Boxing Commission have been working to resurrect the sport.

“I’ve been to the Pacific Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics as well and I’ve noticed that we have missed out on boxing a lot. I would like to acknowledge the sporting organisations in trying to identify and bring all these minor sports back in the spotlight.”

Nemani said like rugby, netball is a sport that can do well if only all stakeholders work together and build on what has been done.

“My message has always been working closely and building the relationship in attaining the sustainable sports.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

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