Soccer standard

A. Shariff Shah, Savusavu | Monday, January 8, 2018
I believe there is a major drop in the standard of soccer only in our country compared with what was played during the '80s and '90s. I am totally surprised that some soccer experts are praising the present national team's achievement as far as world soccer ranking is concerned.

These people are saying that our national team is going in the right direction by defeating teams such as Tonga and Samoa. Please relook at the international ranking as to which five teams are above us and the rest that are below us. It will give you a clear indication as to how much we have improved. Instead of playing 20 international friendlies in one year with "B" teams or with teams which have started to play soccer only 10 years ago, like Samoa and Tonga, please get more serious and play only 2-3 test matches with teams such as New Zealand, Australia and Iceland (300,000 people) and please don't play for the sake of playing but play with their number one team.

Our Flying Fijians team play with number one teams of Wallabies and All Blacks, not "B" teams, In order to gauge our strength and weakness, for us to progress and develop in this modern game, unfortunately our national soccer team is gauging strength and weakness by playing teams like Tonga and Samoa. The fact remains, we will never ever play in any world cup because we have lagged behind where others have progressed and is too big a gap to fill in order to qualify past our Oceania region. I'm 100 per cent sure that it won't happen with the present and another 2-3 generations to come. In our days, after watching super premier games, we used to rush home, put our boots on and straight into our back yards. There will be so many Simon Peters, Nawalus, Williams, Kabakoros, Samis, Vonolagis etc that we will immitate.

I just watched the first leg of CVC between Labasa and Lautoka. Four of my friends have gone out drinking and two going out fishing with me, nobody is interested to play soccer. I guess there's nobody left to imitate these days. This fully reflects the interest among our present generation and this in turn will have a huge impact on development. I believe Fiji FA is to be blamed, not the present generation.

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