Why I Withdrew: Patel Tells
Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel has clarified why he withdrew his nomination as Oceania’s representative to the FIFA council. Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Patel said, he had discussions with presidents of each associations around the Oceania region before he made his decision. “My decision was for Oceania to unite as one,” he said. “I had to pull out and let the newly- appointed members step forward. We did not want any division between the Polynesians and the Melanesians. We wanted to be one and have a united solid ground for the Oceania region to stand on.” Despite the decision to withdraw from the elections, Patel says, he is happy with the new members of the FIFA council. “I know that they will do so much for the Oceania region. If I had been elected it would obviously be a big thing for the country and the development of football in Fiji. But at times we do not need look only at our country but Oceania as a whole. “I hope that with the new members on the council, football in the Oceania region will improve.” Cook Islands Football Association president, Lee Harmon, and American Samoa Football Federation vice-president, Sandra Fruean, have been elected by the Oceania Football Confederation as the FIFA council members from 2016- 2019. This is the first time that OFC will be represented on the FIFA council.