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Ex Reps, Deserve Better

Fiji Sports

Former Ba goalkeeping icon, Bale RanigaFormer Ba goalkeeping icon, Bale RanigaOn the heels of the Battle of the Giants of the Giants tournament, a former footballer is pleading with Fiji Football Association to consider giving former players life-membership passes.


Bale Raniga, the onetime Ba and Fiji goalkeeping great, said the least FFA could do is to allow former players free access to football, the very game they were part of during their prime playing days.

"Former players have contributed immensely by both representing the districts and the country", Bale said from Sydney, Australia. "This is not a big ask considering the services and the revenue the ex- players have helped generated for FFA over the years”.

Bale said what is disappointing is that all while the former players are snubbed, they're those who have done nothing for the good of football in the country continue to enjoy such privileges.

"You hear about the friends of FFA, top down, and the acquaintances benefiting from complimentary passes. How fair is that on the players’ who had broken the sweat and rendered countless hours for the sport".

"I'm saddened with the way the former players are treated".

Bale says there have been numerous calls by former players to allow them to be part of the games but FFA hasn’t budge a bit.

He told Sportsone that former players in other countries are bestowed with the lifetime memberships, enjoy the games and the company of former players.

"It’s all about inclusiveness, FFA needs to follow footballing suite from clubs and nations around the world.

"We so read about the respect the former payers get world-over but in Fiji, appreciation is not even a word in Fiji”.

Bale, who was between the sticks for the championship synonymous Ba side that won the six in row (1975-1980) IDC titles, also said it is sad that FFA hasn’t inducted a single player in the football Hall of Fame in its 79-year (1938- 2017) existence.

"I feel FFA needs to bestow respect to former players by way of induction in the Hall of Fame. It's doable and again FFA need to seriously consider the two, the life-membership passes and the Hall of Fame induction”, Bale said.



 

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