Canada claims the Legends Division of the FANCA Muslim Silver Jubilee tournament with a 4-3 shootout win against Australia at the Prince Charles Park in Nadi, Fiji : FANCA photo

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Selection a crying shame

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Allstar player, Javid Khan: FileAllstar player, Javid Khan: FileWHILE every nation and club select top footballers to represent, it is not always the case with Fijian football.

The argument is that the game’s best know-hows are often left behind over what former players termed as favoritism, and 'who you know'.

Speaking to this website, former players said the age-old pattern is rife, and it includes the nations cup, clubs and the cultural team selections.

"It is all about 'who you know' much less tactical and technical lace", said Robin Nair, a former footballer who saw firsthand how players' made the Nations Cup team on preferential treatment during his playing days.

Nair said it is this footballing practice that had many like him walk away from football.

"There's no denial how the system works. Favoritism exits to this day. It's an  epidemic".

Nair directed his anger towards the officials, the coaches and managers and those that continue to run the various footballing organizations.

Ronald Singh, the former Western Stars linchpin, says he couldn't agree more with Nair, added he knows to well how the selection process was conducted.

"You get called into the Nations Cup team, you give your all in the training and those chosen many make the cut ahead of you and get the start".

"It is a crying shame".

Ronald said teams like Tanoa FC, Flagstaff and Saints of the old Fiji Football Association dominated the selection.

"The coaches and managers all had a per-determined mindset as to who they would play.

"The call out was just a formality, a waste of time. I'm told much hasn't changed over the years or will it ever change".

He said, besides the all favoring coaches, were the players who would coerce the management who to start in the first eleven.

"Those on the pitch would act like they knew it all, these players will call for changes and puppet coaches would make the changes as per their request", said Ronald, who was known for his rugged defensive traits.

Former Richmond Rangers and All-star defender, Subarmani Reddy has encountered similar situation.

"I'm a living proof, I have warmed up the bench while coach's favorites made the team".

"I may ruffle some feathers, but truth is I have seen it happen in the Nations Cup and the Sangam team tour to Fiji on many occasions", he said.

Ahamed Buksh, a parent and self-described coach ran a triad on FANCA team selection-earlier this year.

In the January 2017 interview with Sportsone, Buksh said FANCA lacked merit and was racist for depriving youths a chance to represent based on racial denominations.


Much remains unchanged with the selection criterion of this organization over the years.



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