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Footballers deserve recognition

Fiji Sports

Ba's Bale Raniga: File Photo.Ba's Bale Raniga: File Photo.IT is strange that a country that has produced so many great footballers hasn’t yet have a player inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.


What is even more bizarre is that two football administrators, who were inducted, earned status on the back of the many footballers and this has ruffled some feathers.


Ba’s Sashi Mahendra Singh (2005), and former Fiji Football Association president Dr Mohammed Sahu Khan (2007) were cited for their unerring contributions to the sport of football.

“It’s pure bureaucracy”, says former Fiji captain and Ba’s goalkeeping great Bale Raniga.

He is of the opinion that footballers should’ve been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame even before the administrators, not that they don’t deserve it but footballers make administrators.

“I’m told it comes down to nominations, I guess we can only hold FFA, who fail to nominate their candidate to Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC), the awards sanctioning body.

“I’m sad and alarmed at the same time that not a single footballer has been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame”.

The Sydney, Australia, resident says he wouldn’t be surprised footballers have again missed out this year.

The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame Award dinner will be held on October 13, 2018 at the Grand Pacific Hotel.


Bale said footballers have contributed immensely towards the development and progress of the sport even before his time, added he can run a nomination list.

“It’s about time a footballer is mentioned in the same breath as those that have their names etched among the elites”, said Bale.

The star of Ba’s sixth in a row (1975-1980), Inter-District Championship (IDC) says every other sport since the inauguration of the award in 1990, has had its athlete inducted but footballers.

“Footballers deserve just as much respect. We may not have won the FIFA World Cup or Olympics but we have certainly written our own piece of history by beating world ranked sides, Oceania teams and proving our worth winning local tournaments”.

The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1990 by FASANOC as an everlasting tribute to sportsmen and sportswomen of Fiji.

The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame acknowledges and honours Fiji’s super athletes, who over the years have competed in Fiji and abroad against some of the best in the world.


Many have excelled and brought glory and fame to themselves, their sport and to Fiji and deserve to be recognised and remembered by the people of Fiji.

The Fiji Olympic Order was inaugurated in 2001 to recognise the invaluable contributions of volunteers in the areas of:

Forty-two all time Fiji sporting greats have been inducted into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame and FASANOC is proud of all the Fiji Olympic Order recipients that total 22 recipients so far.

In 2017, the inductees included the Team Fiji rugby 7s men’s team who were recognised for their historic gold medal win in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.


Fiji Sports Hall of Fame

1990: Mataika Tuicakau (athletics), Josefa Levula (rugby):

1991: Mesulame Rakuro (athletics)  Saimoni Tamani  (athletics);

1992: Justine Macaskill (swimming), Luke Tunabuna  (athletics);

1993: Ana Ramacake (athletics), Usaia Sotutu (athletics);

1994 Mere Turukawa (athletics), Samuela Yavala (athletics);

1995: Torika Varo (athletics), Carl Bay (swimming);

1996: Viliame Liga (athletics), Subhash Chand (boxing);

1997 Miriama Tuisorisori (athletics), Apakuki Tuitavua (rugby);

1998 Mereoni Vibose (athletics); 1999 Viliame Saulekaleka (athletics);
2000: Not convened;

2001: Willow Fong (bowls), Patrick Raddock, Alipate Korovou (boxing);

2002: Pio Bosco Tikoisuva (rugby), Stanley Brown, Vijay Singh (golf);

2003 Joseph Rodan (athletics, Sophia Raddock;
2004: Not Convened;

2005: Ilikena Bula (cricket), Hector Hatch, Waisele Serevi (rugby, Sashi Mahendra Singh;

2006: Maraia Lum On (bowls), Hari Raj Naicker, Viliame Takayawa (judo);

2007: Albert Miller (athletics), Brian Wightman, Sharon Pickering (swimming), Dr M.S.Sahu Khan;

2008: Harry Joseph Apted (cricket), Barrie Sweetman;

2009: Anthony Philip (windsurfing), Dr Jitendra Durga Maharaj, Tony Moore (athletics), Robin Mitchell;
2010; Vilitati Qumivutia (weightlifting, Atma Maharaj;

2011: Ratu Sir George Cakobau (rugby, Cathy Wong;

2012; Iliesa Delana (Paralympics), Dr Jagdish Maharaj, Federick Valentine (cricket), Horace Petersen;

2013: Binesh Prasad (athletics), Vidhya Lakhan;
2014: Jone Delai (athletics, Bobby Tikaram, Vilimaina Davu (netball), Christopher Yee;

2015: Vaciseva Tavaga (athletics), John Anthony Moore, Vijendra Pal Sharma;

2016: Not Convened;

2017 Rugby 7s men Olympic team rugby, Benjamin Ryan, Josaia Voreqe (rugby), Filimoni Vuli Waqa.

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