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Ba draws Pacific Cup criticism

Opinions / Analysis

THE Men in Black clinched its 20th Champion versus Champion (CVC) series against Lautoka, but it is their holdout that drew criticism.

Ba claimed they needed to focus on the OFC Champions League, that they didn’t want to spend money on the tour and more so were against the idea of 60-minutes football.

In my opinion, none of these reasons were justified.

Ba, like Lautoka, had qualified for the O-League.

The Blues needed just as much prep­aration time but still participated and played by the rules.

So, what made Ba an exception, and be­sides, the O-League doesn’t start till Febru­ary 2019.

The Pacific Cup should’ve been used as a platform to try out new players and build combination.

The tournament is only getting recognized and with the inclusion of top import players the standard only improves by the year.

The tournament would’ve also given the coaching staff a clear understanding of their team’s strengths and the weaknesses ahead of the O League.

I also disagree with the notion they didn’t want to spend money.

They will only spend more per away fixture come the O -League.

If $AUD10,000 didn’t excite what will? $FJ5,000 CVC payout certainly doesn’t cut it.

Unless they win the O-League champion­ship that in the wager world, goes without saying, ‘all or bust’.

Bust, given what Island nations’ have been up against the New Zealand teams every time, more of the same is expected this time around, unless or otherwise.

And the 60-minute football outcry should never be an argument as Ba had already par­ticipated in the very tournament without a murmur.

Let’s be mindful of the fact that out of 86 championships, Ba has won 82. All these wins were in 60-minute games.

The 2015 Inter-District Championship, 2016 Vodafone Premier League, 2018 Battle of the Giants, 2018 CVC are the four championships to say the least was won on 90-minute foot­ball, history certainly backs up the claim.

Since the introduction of 90-minute foot­ball in 2015 Ba hasn’t found the same success they had with the 60-minute game.

If anything, it is Lautoka that has been the most consistent side in the last three years, they have won back-to-back (2017-2018) IDCs, back-to-back, Premier Leagues, the 2016 B.O.G.

That is a testament of their dominance in the 90-minute game.

Ba’s withdrawal has left fans all confused.

They hadn’t beaten the Blues in the last two years and there was that itch to beat them.Ba’s game plan worked to their advantage.

Ba is a champion team, but to suggest they deserve special favors is simply preposter­ous.

The CVC sure served a purpose.

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