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Tagi deserves respect

Opinions / Analysis

NASINU football coach Tagi Vonolagi’s ejection against Ba created a lot of commotion on social media platforms.

The one-off case in the opening round of the Battle of Giants was blown out of proportion more than anything else.

The likes, world over go off, get fines, and face suspensions, they are back behind the benches and life goes on.

Difference, while they never get criticized on sports forums, Fijians have formed a habit to among other things, call names and run a triad.

The Tagi ejection seemed to have worked up people, who rode the former Fijian national team net-minder seemingly at will.

Branding the coach from being, indiscipline, bad coach and worse enough he brought shame to the sport.

Let us be honest, even if he had crossed the bright line, he did not deserve to be disrespected.

What Tagi did is every football coach of the beautiful game stood up for what they believe is right.

Good coaches will always have his players back, regardless of the situation, it is what it is.

Now think about one coach who does not worry about his team throughout the game and does not get upset at referees’ calls.

Exactly the point in case.

And so, what is all the fuss about, and that bad coach and shame claim.

Tagi is a great coach, remember he is not a part of the money association, he is with Nasinu.

They do not have the resources to sign leading footballers, train on whatever patch of space that is made available and starve on the training and development gears.

And yet, they were able to beat Ba 2-0 in the Vodafone Premier League match.

You may think it is a small feat, but it is not.

While Tagi served his two-match suspension, stand-in coach and association president O’ Neil Chand did a marvelous job of running the bench.

Now the question is, is O’ Neil a qualified coach, anyone’s guess.

O’Neil had sponged in enough tactical and technical knowhow during the Tagi training that he used it to his advantage.

Following the 7-3 Ba loss, Nasinu ironed out the wrinkles and did they ever take their A-plus game in their next two games.

The 3-1 Suva win and a 1-1 draw against Labasa reflects that great coaching staff.

If anything, and on the very parallels of shame, people need to look no further than Ba player, Saula Waqa, who failed the drug test.

No one criticized and or talked down on his use of drugs on various sporting forums, including the official Fiji Football Association Fan Base.

The Ba captain and the national footballer’s action was preposterous. He is a fine example of indiscipline footballer, bad influence for the sport and has brought the same to the district he represents.

Waqa letdown the top down, inluding the fans, and yet no one took to social media to put him into his rightful place, embarrassment that is.

Instead, the majority played the revelation by the ear.

Tagi did not have to explain what got him ejected.

But he did it anyway. Why? because out of respect to his team, management, and the fans.

“It all happened in the spur of the moment’, he admitted.

Let us be known that there will be occasions when coaches do things that go against all the training, but as always good coaches evaluate their own performance much like their teams, learn and move on for the better.

The footballing fans need to understand that Tagi sending off is not the first and will not be the last.

And had there been such a rule that any footballer on a winning team failing a drug test, the match would be awarded to the losing team, then Nasinu would have been in the semifinal of 2020 B.O.G.

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