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FANCA's highs and lows

Opinions / Analysis

THE FANCA Muslim Silver Jubilee would go into the history for its highs and lows.


The 5-day footballing fiesta needs to be applauded for drawing fans in the thousands.

And with the scintillating football, triumphs and heartbreaks, the event accentuated with glowing recognition and marred with match-fix scandal.

Praiseworthy

Nilesh Ram, the New Zealander, whose company, Rams Cleaning deserves praise, for sponsoring the tournament, thus Rams Cleaning FANCA Muslim World Cup will always be remembered in the annals of FANCA Federation.

His helping hand needs to be applauded for doing a generous deed.

And along with Lal, Digicel and other sponsors needs to be complimented for helping, especially in the current demanding circumstances.

It is not too much to ask for as it's part of human nature to show thanks and appreciate an act of human kindness.

Awards galore

FANCA Muslim tournament grew by the biennial year, involving scores of volunteers who helped take the entity where it is today.

While a handful transcended the sport and deserve recognition, much of the trove handouts exemplified how under deserving were made to look important contributors to the success of the sport.

But with the $90,000 plus budget allocation, all of which was through donor funds, the governance did not shy away from handing out awards at will.

If that did not chew away a huge portion of funds, what did was over the top attires, to eateries for the top down of FANCA Federation and host nation Fiji officials

For it reminds of one of American business magnate, and billionaire Warren Buffett’s quotes, ‘rich people stay rich by living like they're broke, poor people stay poor by living like they're rich.’

The worrying fact is the lavish spending could have been put to better use, towards education of underprivileged children in Fiji, for the dire needy and charity of choice.

Hall of Fame

FANCA Hall of Fame was created to recognize individuals who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to the sport.

As it spelled out that two individuals would be traditionally awarded biennially in a special ceremony.

The category of awards was a miss, but a FANCA insider raised eyebrows on inductees, Fiji’s Nizmud Dean Peter, and Canada’s Abdul Najim to the elite group.

Dean, the former national footballer, has once represented Fiji veterans in FANCA, managed tours but never played for the premier team.

Najim (Zico) the Canadian was a striker on the victorious 2001 FANCA team.

Zico has had a single tournament win under his resume and that qualified him induction in the Hall of Fame.

And if only Canada was being considered for the induction, then there were other notables who made an extraordinary contribution to FANCA.

And as such Naushad Khan fits the profile.

Dubbed as the ‘bull of a defense man,’ he played three FANCA tournaments, 1997,1999 and in 2001, he raised aloft the championship trophy in Vancouver.

If Khan was an ask, then a more relative vetting that was overlooked, among a few others, was New Zealand’s Samir Ali, who played in all FANCA competitions since its inception in 1997 and was far more ideal candidate to have been inducted.

He has crafted a distinct playing career, en route to winning a double championship, 1997,1999 with Fiji team.

And following his relocation to New Zealand in 2004, won his treble championship in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Later he assumed coaching, and successfully guided the team in 2012 and 2014.

Ali is FANCA’s highest and most successful footballer.

So, in hindsight, there were huge vetting flaws, and that leaves one to question FANCA’s integrity process.

Match fix

The match fix sadly underscored the silver jubilee celebrations.

The worst of actions by a New Zealander and his syndicates, have put a dent on the reputation of the FANCA Federation.

In an audio that went viral, one Farhad Bhamji was negotiating a match result in exchange for financial gain.

The deal was brokered with Fiji team midfielder William Valentine.

The recorded conversation went viral, FANCA Federation president and Fiji Football Association, CEO Mohammed Yusuf involved FFA to launch an investigation.

The match-fix is a serious offence and if everything else in line with FIFA, FANCA so upholds, then why there is a code of silence, and as the FANCA insider said, nothing would come out of the investigation.

Suspension

What needs to be established is if New Zealand team had prior knowledge of the fix and or was Farhad Bhamji an official in some capacity then New Zealand FANCA and the deal broker shall be suspended from participation in both FANCA and FANCA club competitions until further notice.

And the 2024 hosting rights must also be suspended with an alternate venue for the tournament announced.




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