The Fiji Times

Soccer, rugby and India trip


Fixing Fiji football

WRITING on Vanuatu’s 9-nil trouncing by New Zealand, a Ni-Vanuatu football fan said the president of Port Vila Football Associatio­n Harry Atisson’s assessment is “not only refreshing­ly honest but also spot-on in addressing the root causes of the defeat” (Vanuatu Daily Post 14/9).

He continued, “It is dishearten­ing to see social media filled with criticism and blame directed at the young players who represente­d Vanuatu in the tournament.

“Mr Atisson rightly points out that the fault lies not with the boys but with the Vanuatu Football Federation and its lack of adequate planning and preparatio­n.

It is imperative that we refrain from shaming the players and instead focus on the systemic issues that need to be addressed”.

Fiji was also at the receiving end of a 9-nil hiding from New Zealand at the same tournament.

Fiji also needs to address the systemic issues that afflict Fiji soccer.

Many more people better acquainted with Fiji soccer today have highlighte­d the big picture problem plaguing Fiji soccer. RAJEND NAIDU

Sydney, Australia

Soccer setback

DESPITE a credible performanc­e by the Fiji under-23 football side in pool play against the NZ under-23 during the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in Auckland, (31) loss, when it mattered most, the side was comprehens­ively beaten 9-0 to the extent of a player being red carded and an own goal by Inoke Turagalail­ai.

I do not blame the players but Fiji FA for not playing friendly matches as the Oly Whites did prior to the qualifier.

Continuous­ly bringing expatriate coaches for the Bula Boys and Kula Girls is still not giving the desired results.

They enjoy hefty salaries and perks, never to be matched by any of our local coaches.

What do you have to say Fiji Sports Commission?

The difference is very clear between Fiji rugby and Fiji football in terms of performanc­e and world rankings.

To the die hard football fans, losses hardly matter to the thick skinned Fiji FA officials as big dollars keep pouring in from FIFA.

Fiji FA is quickly on the move to promote the local BOG tournament to boost its coffers.

Personally, I keep blaming the majority district delegates for continuous­ly voting them in. Finance nor the Sports Minister have any say to interfere in the affairs of Fiji FA.

Sorry to fellow Letters to the Editor writer Selwa Nandan that I am still waiting for a response from Rajesh Patel in regards to the football debate.

Maybe CEO Mohammed Yusuf can be his alternativ­e replacemen­t to take me on. On a positive note for Fiji FA, the 2026 World Cup will see 48 teams from 32 and a direct entry to the World Cup from the Oceania winner. What more do you want?

Finally, the 9-nil drubbing saw Fiji FA giving $9000.00-plus to WOWS Kids Fiji but coming from the soccer fans who purchased tickets during Fiji FACT. RAYMOND SINGH

Former LFA president


Reliable kicker

RUGBY history has taught us the importance of a good, accurate and reliable kicker in a team.

John Wilkinson won the Rugby World Cup for England by his accurate kicking.

Again this was showcased by England in this 2023 Rugby World Cup when they soundly beat Argentina by the boot of George Ford.

Fiji beat England by the boot of young Caleb Muntz who contribute­d 15 points through his 100 per cent kicking. I believe the coaching staff should find a good kicker in the absence of Muntz.

Valetini showed his worth with Fijian Drua winning some games for the Drua by his boots.

Fiji is playing the Wallabies in their next game without a good kicker. We all support our Fijian heroes in their next game against the Wallabies but when important issues such as this are overlooked, it will leave us in doubt because a good boot can be a matter of winning or losing a game.



Medical tourism

RECENTLY, I made a trip to India and met so many Fijians in many parts of India who were there for medical reasons.

During my stay in Pune, so many people from Fiji were admitted in hospitals or were there for medical check ups or treatment.

From my understand­ing, the Fiji Government assists each patient with cash but the total charged by the agents is almost the same amount, in fact the total expenses is more.

Can the Ministry of Health look into this because the patients are not looked after because they have to travel from the nearest hotel to hospital and back to hotel which is more than 15km.

For each patient, they are accompanie­d by an adult, they stay in same room, make meals, wash clothes and dishes in bathrooms, which is unhygienic.

Most of them are there for months and it is very hard to survive, looking at the population and change of environmen­t and food makes things hard.

Also, it would be better if some officials from Fiji can accompany them and see how they live, even the Fiji High Commission based in New Delhi.

I believe this must be happening in all cities.

I would appreciate if the Fiji College of General Practition­ers Associatio­n and media can highlight this.

My suggestion, people who go on vacation to India to get treated there instead of getting agents and referrals, at the same time you can seek few specialist­s for your medical treatments.

VINEEL NAND Martintar, Nadi

 ?? Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU ?? Rubbish piled along Kuka Place in Nadawa, Nasinu needs to be cleared.
Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU Rubbish piled along Kuka Place in Nadawa, Nasinu needs to be cleared.
 ?? Picture: OFC MEDIA ?? Action between New Zealand and Vanuatu.
Picture: OFC MEDIA Action between New Zealand and Vanuatu.

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