New Zealand Nadi Legends and Nadi Legends in a group picture after the inaugural Joe Lutumailagi Cup game in Nadi yesterday. NZ Nadi won 2-1.

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FANCA, a joyous event for football

Local Sports

FANCA Muslim tournament draws fans in numbersFANCA Muslim tournament draws fans in numbersFANCA Muslim football tournament has the power to bring people together, regardless of their age and the country.

The Mecca of football competition will be played in Nadi, Fiji between August 17-21.

The 2022 tournament is special as it marks the 25th year anniversary, which would coincide with the silver jubilee celebrations, the inaugural tournament was held in Vancouver, Canada in 1997.

The biennial tournament draws fans from the FANCA nations, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and America, who unite to support their team and their players, all banded under one flag.

Even when their country is knocked out of the competition, many fans flock to support another nation they have ties to, or a neighboring country that they would normally consider their rival.

Vancouver’s Khan family are one diehard FANCA tournament fans, who have been a part of every tournament since the first tournament in Vancouver in 1997.

Abbas Khan said the event holds a special place for his family.

"My late uncle Kalandar Khan, late cousin Azad Khan and cousins Gul Zaman, and Mohammed Sattar were the brainchild of the tournament."

"For our family it is the most anticipated sporting tournament.

"It's also a reunion of families and friends from around the FANCA nations."

Azad was the former president of the association, while Sattar was the first and the longest serving general secretary.

The fifty plus Khan families' will form the single biggest backdrop during the 5-day football fiesta at the Prince Charles Park.

Nakurakura, Nadi, the very space where Prince Charles Park sits, is also the ancestral home of the Khans' and their extended families.

“It’s our place of birth, former home, what better homage to be home away from home."

Abbas said the biggest ticket in town will be a fun filled and family event for everyone to enjoy.

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