Lift Your Game, Fiji Football Association Told

Bala said Fiji FA is here to stay but it must get its acts together.
16 Mar 2020 13:41
Lift Your Game, Fiji Football Association Told
From left: Pacific Energy business development manager Nemani Kobiti, Pacific Energy Footballer of the Year Antonio Tuivuna, chief speaker Wes Brown and Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel during the Vodafone/ Fiji FA Awards Night at the Pullman Resort Nadi Bay on March 14, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Fiji Football Association and its stakeholders have been tasked with a challenge to lift the sport and make it marketable like rugby union.

The bold challenge came from the Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Bala while officiating the Vodafone/ Fiji FA Awards Night 2019 at the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort on Saturday.

“It is a share-share challenge that I am putting to Fiji FA, districts and players alike as we simply have to lift our game,” Bala said.

“We are all aware and we don’t have to look very far, if our rugby union brothers can put us on the world, and contribute to economic growth in terms of remittance, no doubt under the leadership of Rajesh Patel, we can do it.

“There is no secret as we need to improve our world rankings in football.

“Fiji must engage and compete with international teams here or abroad and must provide a platform for youth football as well.”

Bala said Fiji FA is here to stay but it must get its acts together.

“I thank the association for taking the first step to carry out drug tests for its players after each tournament.

“This measure is a proactive one to ensure we have clean sports. Sports have been regarded as an agent for social change.

“It has a multiplier effects on any nation or society.

“As your government, we are not just looking at propelling women’s competition under the OFC and International Federation of Association Football, Fiji FA is taking credible steps in expanding women sports in Fiji.

“And I congratulate Fiji FA and its official for making such a great headway in this area.”

Bala commended Fiji FA sponsors Vodafone and all the nominees and support staff for staging the annual awards night.

Stylish Labasa football defender Antonio Tuivuna was named the Pacific Energy Male Footballer of the Year.

The Navala, Ba native said, it was a proud moment for him to receive the award.

“It is not an individual effort but it is a team effort,” he said.

“Labasa supported me and I dedicate this award to all Labasa football fans.

“Playing for Labasa is special, since it is known as the friendly north.

“Playing for them has somewhat won my heart but whichever team I play for I will give my 100 percent.

“I’ll continue to be with Labasa, we want a good season this year with the aim is to make it to the O-League.

“We had a good start in the Champions versus Champion series but in the league it’s sort of up and down,” the 25-year-old added.
Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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