SPORTS

Fiji Face Vanuatu, PNG In Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifier

The Fijian national football team are pooled with Mela­nesian rivals Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea in the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2019 to be played here on September 21 to
09 May 2019 12:03
Fiji Face Vanuatu, PNG In Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifier
Carlos Buzzetti coached the Fijians to the 2015 OFC Olympic qualifier in PNG where they won and secured a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games. Photo: OFC Media

The Fijian national football team are pooled with Mela­nesian rivals Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea in the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2019 to be played here on September 21 to October 5.

The draw was done at the OFC Academy in Auckland, New Zea­land on Monday night.

During the draw, OFC competi­tions director Chris Kemp was as­sisted by Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel, who are the hosts of this year’s tournament.

According to OFC Media, the Fi­jians will be joined by seven other member associations with the win­ner securing the rights to represent OFC at the Men’s Olympic tourna­ment at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The Vodafone Fijian Under-23 rep­resented the Oceania region at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Ja­neiro, Brazil.

In Group A, top seeded New Zea­land will face fourth ranked Solo­mon Islands as well as American Samoa and Samoa, while second seeded Fiji will need to overcome third ranked Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga in Group B.

Kemp is confident the tournament would be a success both on and off the field.

“We have no doubt Fiji will be a fantastic host and the participat­ing teams as well as the fans will all contribute to delivering a competi­tive and exciting tournament,” said the OFC competitions director.

“The stakes are very high as quali­fication for a global sporting event such as the Olympics is a major prize.

“We expect all the participating teams to prepare and perform to their best ability and we also antici­pate plenty of interest both in Fiji as well as across the entire region,” he added.

Patel shares these sentiments and can’t wait to welcome the compet­ing teams in Fiji.

“We are very excited and looking forward to putting on a great tour­nament, said the Fiji FA president.

“Following our national team’s fantastic experience representing Oceania at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil it was important for us to bid for the hosting rights of this qualifying tournament.

“Fiji are in a very tough group and it won’t be easy but we are confi­dent our team will do well, the fans are excited and we hope for a close­ly qualifying event,” Patel insisted.

POOLS

Group A: New Zealand, Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Samoa

Group B- Fiji, Vanuatu, PNG, Ton­ga

Edited by Anasilini Natoga

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: