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Our men served with distinction

Opinions / Analysis

WE are ever so grateful for the contributions of our former footballers and the administrators.

The men who enriched our sporting history by giving us the joy of the beautiful game, the organization, and the following.

Mention the golden years and the 80s-90s, inundates.

Since the early days of competition in 1984, football has been about great players, teams, the rivalries, championships, and our leaders who made it all happen.

It is about the powering past, that saw competitions take the topflight, with amazing footballers with adroit skills, who were fans' delight.

With clubs, Tanoa FC, Flagstaff FC, Western Stars, Richmond Rangers, Saints FC, Marist FC and districts Ba, Suva, Nadi, Lautoka and Tailevu/Naitasiri, football was far at a different level, for standard and competition.

The league games to major tournaments, like the Inter district championship and the Battle of the Giants extracted the best out of the footballers and the teams.

And in that, a pool of ingrained footballers who had a following, the likes of Sheik Jung, Asad Ali, Kevin Wong, Bobby Ali, Naushad Khan, Saten Singh, Atma Sharma, Chandu Sharma, Rishi Sharma, Rahaman Papai, Lawrence Singh, Sunny Khan, Raj Sharma, Mohammed Buksh, Sanjay Narayan, Ashad Ali, Mikey Karunan, Mikey Singh, Bobby Izaz, Alfred Nagur, Shaukat Ali Khan, Joey Sen, Taufik Khan, Riaz Ali, Arun Sharma, Subarmani Reddy, Kamal Sahib, Kollapa Naidu, Kuddos Hussein, Mohammed Yusuf,Patrick Jnr, Patrick Krishna Snr, Amjad Sahib, Salesh Mishra, Ronald (White Boy) Singh, Sunny Ali, Don Sahim, Raj Lal, Mohammed Ali Khan and Munesh Turbo and many more, football was at its best.

These footballers have transcended the sport.

And while we have an array of young talent, it is the failure of the Fijian league and its deteriorating state that has left them with option but to play in other leagues across the mainland.

For what the sport is today, fails to measure up with what it was in the days.

Nothing compares, all comes down to calamities attached to the power of position with the current football administrators, who, instead of rejuvenating the sport, have cemented their position for life.

The sport that once flourished under footballing minds like, Sikandar, Azad, Kalandar and Chris Khan, Jerry Tikaram, Vince Lal, Praveen Adrakar, Jay Narayan, and Mohammed Babbu Buksh has become a veterans league under Fijian League, and there's mounting fear that the league will be forced to call it quits in the near future.

The men who served under the Fiji Football Association were visionary leaders, who had strong ideas, shaped the game and were influential.

“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us”.

For football will never be the same and the men who popularized the sport can never be forgotten.

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