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Football merger in limbo

Local Sports

Rival body merger will never happenRival body merger will never happenA VETERAN Vancouver footballer who had started a Facebook campaign to amalgamate North American soccer bodies may not get to see it happen after all.

Ronald Chaudhary had called on the head honchos of the North American Fijian Soccer Association (NAFSA) and Canada America Soccer (CANAM) to shrug off their differences for the greater good of football through a merger.

But today an official with CANAM, who spoke to Sportsone on the condition of anonymity says they don’t foresee the merger happening.

“We are ready and willing to include teams from NAFSA with open arms under CANAM governance", he said.

“There will be no merger, I can tell you that much.

“We have a great organization with structured plans.

“We have formed the new body with a view of providing an environment with ready-achievable standards in which teams will have an opportunity to experience by playing in a highly competitive environment”.

Following the completion of the two rival tournaments on Sunday, Chaudhary started a Facebook campaign to garner support for reconciliation and by yesterday, fans, foes and neutrals had posted mixed reactions about the merger.

“Now the dust settled down with two tournaments happening simultaneously, one in Stockton California and one in Seattle, Washington”, he said.

“The organizers worked hard to put these tournaments on, and the participating teams to spent a lot of time, money in preparation.

“Moving forward we would like to see both parties merge and have one big tournament that used to be.

“Let’s put this all behind and have one strong organization to host such prestige tournament. We need to look at one path for our new generation”.

Gurjit Singh, the former Fiji football coach, was one of the firsts to back up the idea and offer his support.

He called for unity for the good of the sport.

“I was in Seattle to watch CANAM. It was a great weekend of soccer, was very well organized, without any problems. All teams performed very well and were well disciplined on and off the field. Islanders from Sacramento were the new champions in open grade and Tanoa won masters”, said Singh.

“The other tournament I heard didn’t go well and first time a team won without playing final, teams should think about the future. Teams spend so much; they deserve better treatment.

“Leave politics and egos aside and play one, NAFSA tournament”.

Former star Suva footballer of the 70s, Faiyaz Khan said while he agrees with the views expressed, he had reservations that anything good will come out of the negotiation.

“I was in Stockton watching the game also. I have been in soccer for a long time and have seen it all”, said Khan.

“All I can say to you all is trust me nothing will change, and we will have the same (s- - t) next year. It’s all politics. People are talking now, but the same guys will support the same officials”.

Petaia Usakilakeba, the Fiji Airways men’s 7s Vancouver liaison, who was in Stockton, USA during the NAFSA couldn’t have highlighted any better, among other things, alcohol abuse, lack of respect, old school leadership, substandard match officials and lack of security.

He said there were flaws in the Stockton tournament that needed change.

"Sports is so professional, and soccer is one of the biggest sports in the world.

"Professionalism starts from home. We need some sorts of professionalism in our tournaments to help our young Fijians players grow up to be a good player, good citizen and a fine grown man in the future.

“That’s why we love this game so we can pass our young generation the good things we learn and not being a barrier to their career”.

The two bodies parted separate way in 2014 after irreconcilable differences.

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