Lo­cal Tour­na­ments to Stay

mailife - - Contents - By MOIZ MUNIF

Host­ing the three ma­jor foot­ball events will con­tinue to be part of Fiji Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Fiji FA) plans to take the sport for­ward in the coun­try. Ex­pect no changes to the for­mat or sched­ule in the near fu­ture. Fiji FA Pres­i­dent Ra­jesh Pa­tel has strongly backed the idea of a three-tour­na­ment sea­son and added that matches will con­tinue to be played over a du­ra­tion of 90 min­utes. Pa­tel made this com­ments as the cur­tains fell on the 2016 INKK Mo­bile Bat­tle of the Giants (BOG) tour­na­ment in Nau­sori early Septem­ber. “The tour­na­ments will con­tinue,” Pa­tel said. “I have said its 90 min­utes foot­ball and no changes to the for­mat. 90 min­utes foot­ball is here to stay as it helps the na­tional teams and play­ers adapt. We saw in Rio that the fit­ness of the play­ers was lack­ing and con­tin­u­ously play­ing 90 min­utes foot­ball will help play­ers adapt.” The Voda­fone Fiji FACT, INKK BOG and Courts In­ter District cham­pi­onship are the three ma­jor tour­na­ments.


The Lautoka foot­ball side was crowned the 2016 INKK Mo­bile BOG cham­pi­ons at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nau­sori. After two weeks of in­tense and com­pet­i­tive foot­ball Lautoka re­mained the only un­beaten side in the com­pe­ti­tion. Two ex­tra spell goals from Mo­hammed Shazeel and Cyrus Singh were enough to se­cure the ti­tle that has evaded Lautoka for the past three decades. Lautoka beat Ba 2-0. In the race for glory Lautoka beat sides like Ba, Nadroga and in an epic penalty shootout de­feated Rewa who were gun­ning for a third straight de­fence of the crown. Labasa had lost in their first pool en­counter to cham­pi­ons Lautoka but bounced back to de­feat Nadroga and ri­val Ba to book a semi­fi­nal berth. Suva was de­ter­mined to go a step fur­ther after los­ing in the re­cent FACT fi­nal and made a per­fect 1-0 start in the semi­fi­nal. Backed by strong sup­port­ers Labasa fought back to score four unan­swered goals to qual­ify for the fi­nal end­ing Suva’s hope.


A tour­na­ment like the INKK BOG con­tin­ues to pro­vide a car­ni­val like at­mos­phere as more than 10,000 fans wit­nessed the two days of the knock out stage. Labasa fans out num­bered the others and on the fi­nal day a sea of red cov­ered the pavil­ions demon­strat­ing the sup­port that the Vanua Levu side boasted. “The INKK BOG was a very suc­cess­ful tour­na­ment from the

pool matches to the fi­nals as a new cham­pion was crowned. Lautoka proved them­selves from pool play and de­serve to win and all credit to Labasa,” Pa­tel said. Lautoka re­ceived $15,000 while run­ner up Labasa had to set­tle with $6000. Zi­braaz Sahib of Lautoka was named the player of the tour­na­ment and his team­mate Mo­hammed Shazeel was named the player of the fi­nal. Labasa scooped other awards as Gabrieli Matanasiga and Ravi­nesh Singh shared the golden boot award, goalie Akuila Mateisuva the golden glove and Ratu Anare the new find of the event.


Few fans are be­com­ing over pa­tri­otic to­wards their favourite sides and in the process ut­ter foul lan­guage at the venues and many of­ten take their frus­tra­tions to so­cial me­dia which hin­ders the sport espe­cially with a strong fol­low­ing from kids and teenagers.

Scene at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nau­sori dur­ing the Labasa v Lautoka INKK Mo­bile Bat­tle of the Giants fi­nal Photo- Moiz Munif


GROUP STAGE Suva 4 Dreketi 4 Ba 1 Nadroga 0 Lautoka 4 Labasa 2 Rewa 1 Nadi 1 Nadi 1 Dreketi 1 Labasa 7 Nadroga 0 Lautoka 2 Ba 1 Suva 1 Rewa 0 Lautoka 2 Nadroga 1 Rewa 8 Dreketi 1 Suva 0 Nadi 0 Labasa 4 Ba 0

SEMI­FI­NALS Labasa 4 Suva 1 Lautoka 4 Rewa 3 (Penalty kicks)

FI­NAL Lautoka 2 Labasa 0

INKK BOG LIST OF WIN­NERS 1978: Nadi 1979: Ba 1980: Nadi 1981: Ba 1982: Suva 1983: Nadi 1984: Ba 1985: Lautoka 1986: Nadi 1988: Suva 1989: Nadroga 1990: Ba 1991: Nadroga 1992: Ba 1993: Ba 1994: Rewa 1995: Suva 1996: Nadi 1997:Labasa 1998: Ba 1999: Ba 2000: Ba 2001: Ba 2002: Nadroga 2003: Rewa 2004: Rewa 2005: Navua 2006: Ba 2007: Ba 2008: Ba 2009: Ba 2010: Rewa 2011: Rewa 2012: Ba 2013: Ba 2014: Rewa 2015: Rewa 2016: Lautoka

Ac­tion from the fi­nal of the 2016 INKK Mo­bile Bat­tle of the Giants fi­nal be­tween Lautoka v Labasa- Photo- Anushil Ku­mar

The Lautoka foot­ball side was crowned the 2016 INKK Mo­bile Bat­tle of the Giants Cham­pion ear­lier this month at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nau­sori. Photo- Anushil Ku­mar

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