Football | SPORTS

Yusuf: Any Team Can Win B.O.G

Any team can win the Punjas Battle of the Giants tournament, says a senior football executive.
17 Aug 2022 14:51
Yusuf: Any Team Can Win B.O.G
Lautoka striker Aporosa Yada in a tussle against Tailevu/Naitasiri during the Digicel Premier League at the HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, on August 7, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord.

Any team can win the Punjas Battle of the Giants tourna­ment, says a senior football executive.

Fiji Football Association chief ex­ecutive officer Mohammed Yusuf said this is because of the competi­tiveness of matches played in the Digicel Premier League.

“We’ve seen the level of competi­tion in the DPL and for sure we can­not predict who will qualify for the semifinals and final,” Yusuf told Fiji FA Media.

“The first weekend, which is on Au­gust 26-28 is going to be very inter­esting especially when it’s played at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

“After knowing who will play in the group stages the teams must be pre­paring well. We can expect a lot of fireworks in some of these matches.”

In Group A, Nadi leads the charge followed by Suva, Nadroga and La­basa.

Hosts Lautoka is top seed for Group B along with defending B.O.G cham­pions Rewa, Ba and Navua

“Looking at the groups I’m sure we all can expect some nail-biting clash during the group stages.

“All the teams will want to win and qualify for the knockout stages so they are coming out firing,” Yusuf added.


Blues boss calls for support

Lautoka Football Association‘s in­terim chairman, Rajnesh Prasad, believes they are in a good group.

“We will not underestimate any team in our group,” said Prasad

“We will treat each match as final. We are the hosts and the pressure will be on us so we need to perform to our best.

“Despite the challenges we man­aged to perform our best in the League and I’m sure that will boost us in the tournament,”

Prasad urged Lautoka fans to come out in numbers and support the team in their campaign.


It’s not easy: Pratap

Similar sentiment was echoed by Suva Football president, Ritesh Pratap, indicating that they cannot afford to take any team lightly.

“We will be playing Nadi and Na­droga who are unpredictable teams and have been playing well in the League.

“Then tournament favourites La­basa, so it is not an easy go,” said Pratap

“We will need to work harder in our preparations and the onus will be on the players to prove themselves.

“If we compare it to the Fiji FACT, I think this tournament is much more competitive as all teams have pre­pared well.

“We as the Fiji FACT champions know all teams will come out firing against us so we have set our game plan,” said Pratap.

Labasa has opted to keep a low profile in their preparations for the B.O.G.


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