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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Drug use claim in FANCA

Local Sports

FANCA president, Mohammed YusufFANCA president, Mohammed YusufTHERE is a dire need for the mandatory drug tests during the FANCA Muslim soccer tournament.

The drug use surfaced after the 2018 tournament at Lautoka's Churchill Park.

Aiyaz Hussein, a former footballer and a passionate FANCA fan says he was appalled at the use of marijuana and encourages people in position to step up and clean the sport.

"I saw players light up marijuana in open, he told Sportsone in Fiji. "Players on overseas teams consider FANCA tournament as a party atmosphere".

Hussein said he confronted several players at the park who completely disregarded public and their responses baffled him.

"Some made statements like since there's no testing there is nothing much to worry about, a few admitted it enhanced performance.

"A few overseas players said marijuana was herbal and more of a recreational drug".

FANCA Muslim soccer tournament is the longest running cultural event that was birthed in Vancouver, Canada in 1997, with the aim of bringing Fiji Muslims together through soccer, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America participate in the biennial tournament.

It has been 21 years since the tournament started and while the event unites Fiji Muslims, allegations of favoritism on the part of the match officials, scheduling and now the marijuana use has raised some serious questions about the direction the sport is headed.

"It is about time people in position look at ways to clean up the sports", said Hussein.

FANCA president Mohammed Yusuf said random tests will be carried during the 2020 FANCA tournament in New Zealand.

He said he was unaware of the recent claim, but confirmed the matter was brought before the board who backed the idea of drug tests to be carried out.

"We have found a lab in New Zealand that will be testing players and if any player is found positive will be suspended from playing in future FANCA tournament".

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