OFC : Ali yet to join Fijians

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NAVUA’S Siga Ali is expected to join the Fiji five-a-side team today as three days remain for the start for the Oceania FUTSAL World Cup playoffs.

The Fiji FACT winning squad member has asked the team officials for time off as he has a family commitment.

Coach Intiaz Khan has been working with the rest of his team members in Suva and his major areas are to get the players back into shape after four days of tough outing with their respective districts at the FACT.

“We have been working on conditioning and getting the players back in shape,” Khan said.

“There are minor injuries and knocks.”

The team hit the pools yesterday to recuperate.

Khan, who was known for his stunning free kicks during his playing days with Suva, also played for the Fiji side in five-a-side.

“So far I am happy with the preparations we have been having,” he said.

“Can’t complain and the players will go out there and do their utmost best.”

Fiji Football Association FUTSAL secretary Jainendra Sukhu said they had a good set of players but there were areas which needed to be perfected.

“While our players have been playing and we have a good set of players, this tournament is of another level,” Sukhu said.

“The players are going to play at another level and will have to prepare mentally and physically for that.”

Former Suva rep Soromon Seule has been named in the Vanuatu side.

Fiji starts its quest against New Caledonia on Saturday then it faces the Solomon Islands on day three of competition after a bye on the second day.

Vanuatu is Fiji’s next opposition and then Tuvalu before facing off with rivals, New Zealand in what is expected to be a thriller and the decider.

The tournament will be played on a round-robin basis with the team finishing with the highest number of points qualifying from the region.

The OFC Futsal Championship is held every four years with the winner progressing to the FIFA Futsal World Cup, which will be held in Brazil this year in September.

This year marks the first OFC Futsal Championship since Australia switched confederations from OFC to Asia.

Australia has won the last four OFC Futsal championships since 1992 and their absence will provide a great opportunity for other OFC nations to attend their first FIFA Futsal World Cup. In the last tournament in 2004 New Zealand was runner-up to Australia while Vanuatu beat Fiji in the third and fourth place playoff.

Fiji team:

Alvin Avinesh, Arvindra Naidu Azmat Begg, Imtiaz Begg, Dinesh Mudaliar, Sandeep Nair, Kamal Hassan, Wasim Ali, Siga Ali, Ashish Chand Vikash Prasad ,Mira Hussein Sahib.

Source : Fiji Times
By : Indra Singh
Published : 4/6/2008

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