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FFA needs a change

Fiji Sports

Fiji FA boss Rajesh Patel Fiji FA boss Rajesh Patel Fiji FA presidential candidate Salendra Prasad and his manifesto is a breath of fresh hope for Fiji Football says Ivor Evans, the former Fiji and Vancouver Whitecaps starlet.

The British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame is urging district delegates to vote in Prasad, who has a clear vision about the sport and the direction he plans to steer the organization that has been under the scope for host of wrong doings.

He said the message is loud and clear, Rajesh Patel has been tried and tested and nothing good came out of his leadership.

The Fijian prodigy, who turned heads both in Fiji and in North America during his prime playing days in the mid 80s and 90s, believes change is needed for the good of the sport.

"I'm all about the change. Patel’s many decisions have tilted the Men in Black, Ba’s favour and his less know-how’s on the board always support his shabby reforms”, said Ivor.

“FFA needs a leader, who is all about parity that fits Fiji’s prime-minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s profile. Even he (prime-minister) and the Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou have hinted that they’re closely monitoring the FFA”.

Ivor said the district delegates must also be made known of Patel’s favouritism with regards to Ba, the district he served as a president.

The Delta, British Columbia, Canada resident says he is flabbergasted at Oceania Football Association president David Chung’s unscrupulous claim that Patel has made huge headways for Fiji soccer like never before.

“OFC is another joint that has misrepresented itself. Look at last year’s OFC pool seeding, didn’t Chung played it by the ear. I guess it all comes down to what’s good for goose is good for gander”.

Ivor said OFC president David Chung and the proponents of wrong and the soccer fans must be made known off his decisions over 4 year tenure.

He said the latest in the string of many wrongs is the OFC pool saga.

Patel’s questionable decisions are:

A-The OFC letter dated 1 December 2014 clearly laid down the stipulations as to how teams qualify from their respective countries based on NSL finish. Fiji had two spots. With the league completed in late September/early October which Suva hoisted after 23 years and Ba squeezed into 2nd spot with mere goal difference over Nadi.It was anyone’s guess who was supposed to be Fiji 1 (hence easier pool) and runner up to be Fiji 2.

Fiji FA wrongfully tagged Ba as Fiji 1 based on their semi-final finish in the previous O-League (totally against the OFC rules). This pushed Suva (now Fiji 2) into a tougher pool (Auckland city, Amicale and western united) while Ba got easier opponents (Lupe Ole soaga of Samoa, FC Gaitcha and AS Pirae).

With the O-league starting on April 11, 2015 Suva desperately tried for almost 4 months to get this sorted (supported by Tafea's pool switch - who exchanged places with Amicale after winning the Vanuatu league).
OFC bailed out on Suva saying it was Fiji FA's mess to clear since they submitted nominations. Fiji FA played mum as the tournament went ahead with Suva playing gallantly in their tougher pool. After the conclusion of the tournament Fiji FA CEO Bob Kumar publicly admitted they made a mistake with the pools and Suva deserved Fiji 1 spot.

B-CVC (takes place in Jan/Feb.) since its inception in 1992, it was always played by the winner of the National league and winner of IDC. If both were same then winner of BOG played. In 2009 Ba didn't win league (won by Lautoka) or IDC (won by Navua, who also won Fiji FACT). This meant 2010 CVC was supposed to be played between Lautoka and Navua only.
The president then Sahu Khan and Rajesh Patel (VP) with CEO Bob Kumar changed rules into a champion’s league format. Winner of all major tournaments played. This meant Ba got free entry after winning BOG. Lautoka deservedly won CVC for first time after hammering Ba 7-0 at Govind Park in the last round robin game.

This rule remained up until 2015 CVC. Ba didn't win any tournaments in 2014 which meant they wouldn't qualify for 2015 CVC (Suva won 2014 league and IDC, Nadi won Fiji FACT and Rewa won BOG). This meant 2015 CVC was supposed to be between Suva, Nadi and Rewa. Fiji FA changed rules again and went back to National League winner vs IDC.

Nadi and Rewa hence were left out. Ba, 2013 IDC winner (Fiji FA’s excuse: 2013 League was completed before the IDC therefore 2013 IDC is part of 2014 season) played Suva (2015 league winner) in 2015 to decide 2014 CVC champ. Ba didn’t win anything in 2015 (apart from retaining CVC). With this rule, 2014 IDC champ Suva will now play 2015 league winner Nadi in next CVC. No questions about this! Let’s see if Fiji FA pulls another fast one to cater the team of their choice.

C-The last but not the least one is Pacific Cup qualification.

Winner of all 3 major tournaments and league were supposed to Fiji’s representatives, Labasa (Fiji FACT 2015), Rewa (BOG 2015), Nadi (NSL 2015) and Suva (IDC2014) were rightful participants.


Fiji FA arbitrarily introduced point’s system right before the 2nd round of BOG games.
Labasa was left out. If Ba had won BOG they would’ve automatically qualified with enough points accumulated. They lost to Rewa in final and were tied with Lautoka on points.

Lautoka spoiled Ba’s party once again beating them 2-1 by gaining entry into Pacific Cup 2015.


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