Nadi forward Rusiate Matirerega fends off a Lautoka challenge during their pool B match of the 2020 Fiji FACT at Churchill Park, Nadi won 1-0. FFA pic.

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No one bigger than the sport

Opinions / Analysis

NO one person is bigger than the sport, let alone the organization they serve.

That is sports unanimous belief and widely upheld.

Unless that sport is football and Fijian League.

There is, that huge misconception among the powers that be.

The organization is about the people, less football and the direction it’s headed.

It comes as no surprise that not a single person applied for the advertised chairman’s position following president Nadraj Nair’s decision to call it career after serving the sport for 40 years.

Nair served with distinction, but many questioned the rationale behind the expressions of interest, as there in lie his successor and the advert seemed so delusional.

The football minds known that their opinions don’t matter as is, and by holding the position won't change a thing as a privileged few are the ones making the decision for years now.

And with the duties came responsibilities one that didn't excite many, the opening if anything came with an expiry date.

The far and many ideas and suggestions so often get rebuked on the league administered Facebook, the league is not even open to constructive criticisms.

More so, the proponents of good will get banned, these and more that precludes people from joining the league.

For football to thrive, the sport needs the people that are ready to serve the entity, less the interest driven.

These are the people that have the knack to identify the wrongs and make it right for the greater good of the sport.

These are participants of change, who can find solutions in the worst of situations, without cohesion and prejudice.

Fiji Football Association was one such organization that held high in the footballing realm.

Not only did they birthed football, they submitted themselves to the success of the sport, and it drew insurmountable praise from every spectrum of the footballing community.

And if you had followed football like I have, then you would know the powers that formed the breakaway Pacific League.

The dissidents, who turned bigger than the organization, forced their agenda during a meeting at Vancouver's Renfrew Centre, fanning the disunity flames for their own rise to power positions.

Lo and behold, the Pacific League loyalists soon broke ranks through insider mongering and manipulation, served the opportunistic to form yet, the Fijian League.

In the early years, Fijian League ruled with iron fists, eradicated FFA loyalists and footballers through suspensions, a deterrent they used to have players join the league.

Years on, they unclenched their fist to be inclusive, but only placing tough conditions in the way of bonds levies for suspended players should they chose to return.

The decision had ruffled some feathers from within, many called the league selective yet remained quiet.

And for being the only football entity, fans have to live with it but with the influx of novice taking up positions, it was evidently clear the better days of football was nearing to an end.

Today, what has become the pitfall is that it survives on veterans’ teams, no qualms as there’s no sign a premier league would see the light of the day ever.

The drawback of the league is that it has become autocratic.

That is, it discourages group input, impair morale and lead to resentment, impair or ignore creative solutions and expertise from subordinates

In hindsight, the success behind the FFA were the smart and astute administrators, like late, Azad Khan, Kalandar Khan and Chris Khan, Vince Lal, Jai Narayan, Babbu Buksh, Praveen Adrakar, Nadraj Nair and Jerry Tikaram.

Nair is the only active member of the elite era serving the sport, but does he ever lack the know how’s around him to take the organization above and beyond.

The FFA were esteemed and visionaries, a far-cry of what the fervent have become accustomed to in the last decade.

With an impartial view, the double Fiji Cup tour to Fiji, the Osoyoos Allstars tournament and playing in the Vancouver Metro League certainly reckon them among the best administrator minds in the history of the sport.

And the Pacific Cup that the current league finds it out of their means to reach, the FFA Allstars would’ve participated yearly.

Let’s just be honest, for the beautiful game to be successful, it demands people who are anything but self-centered.

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