Poor planning is problem, Shah says (Fiji)

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Logo - Fiji TimesA lack of planning for national teams is the Fiji Football Association’s biggest problem, says former Rewa vice-president Abdul Shah.

Shah said the Fiji FA continued to work with obsolete ideas.

“They don’t think anything is wrong so they continue doing what they have been doing all along while the results are all big failures,” he said.

Shah has raised concern ahead of the Oceania Under-17 World Cup qualifiers to be hosted by Fiji in April.

“New Zealand already has a squad and is playing build-up games against tougher opponents but in Fiji we are still trying to hold trials in different districts.

“This shows how badly we lack planning. If we are serious about qualifying then at least a shadow squad should have been named last year and by now the players should have attended a few training camps.

“The progress made by New Zealand and Solomon Islands is a wake-up call for Fiji FA officials to resign because they are just sleeping on the job,” Shah said.

The New Zealand U-17 side recently lost 1-0 and 3-0 to Chile U-18 as coach Steve Cain works on perfecting a fearsome combination for the qualifiers.

The Junior All Whites will have the services of two UK-based academy players in Cameron Lindsay (Blackburn Rovers) and Andrew Milne (Glasgow Rangers).

Since 1983, the Fiji U-17 has only played the final of the Oceania qualifiers in 1999 while gleefully making up numbers in the other 11 qualifiers.

When contacted Fiji FA chief executive Bob Kumar referred questions to chief development officer Farook Janeman, who said now was not the right time to talk about the U-17 team.

Janeman said people in the West were still trying to come to terms with the recent flooding.

The Solomon Islands national U-14 futsal team recently featured in the 30th Australian National Futsal Championship in Canberra, competing against Australian state opponents but in Fiji, futsal is yet to reach age group level.

Solomon Islands last year humiliated Fiji in round robin play to win the Oceania Futsal qualifiers for a historical appearance in the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Source : Fiji Times
By : Amit Raj
Published : 19/1/2009

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