i-Sevusevu by the National Men's Football Team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers-OFC Stage 3.
March 17, 2017 State House, Suva.
Mr Mohammed Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer;
Mr Bob Kumar, the Former Chief Executive Office;
Mr Christophe Gamel, the Head Coach ;and
Team Manager and Officials.
Ni Sa Bula Vinaka!
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to receive on behalf of Government and the people of Fiji, our National Football Team that is hosting the New Zealand Team in Churchill Park on the 25th of this month.
I am aware that this is the qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers – OFC Stage 3, and one which will improve our Teams’ Oceania and international rankings as the winning team from the region will compete in a playoff match with the fifth placed team from the South American Confederation and where the winner will qualify for a place in the Intercontinental Play-off.
Fiji Football has been in existence since the Association was founded in 1938 and becoming a member of FIFA in 1963.
Since then the Fiji Football Association has stamped its mark and has achieved a lot of interest in the local fields, Oceania and international arena.
Fiji Football has done well in the international arena, with Fijian players proudly playing in the Oceania and overseas clubs. We are proud of this achievement.
I believe our young men are eager to make your own mark on the OFC Stage 3 as we like the Papua New Guineans were two Oceania countries that watched from the sideline last November as Tahiti, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and New Zealand kicked off their campaigns.
It is never too late to start your campaign and rise up to meet with teams in the big league.
As Fijians we have always shown the world that we strive on competing with the big leagues and we always attempt to ensure in stamping our mark and be recognised in any sport that we participate in.
Fiji is never short of talents and skills in the sporting arena, and the government has made sure that it supports and motivates all sports by upgrading sporting facilities to match the expectation of world class sports.
This team will be playing its home and away series with the All Whites in the newly renovated Churchill Park and I am sure it is an added incentive as we will be proud to showcase to our visitors that our facilities will better enhance delivery in the game.
I congratulate your new National Coach Mr. Christophe Gamel who I believe has prepared you well for this series and similarly it would be remiss of me if I do not acknowledge, commend and congratulate each and every one of you for been selected in to our men’s football team.
I would like to remind you all that we will have to practice good sportsmanship and values that would enhance the promotion of soccer in Fiji and the Region.
Be reminded, no one individual can be the lone winner in a team sport; it has to be a team effort. Most importantly if you win you win together and if you lose you lose together, let us be humble in both aspects.
As your President and Head of State, May I also remind you to be good hosts to our visiting team and be good ambassadors of the sport.
Enjoy the game, set yourselves goals, aim high and work towards achieving them collectively.
On this occasion I wish to personally extend my best wishes and the Nation’s wishes to the 29 member team and 9 officials for successful home ground participation.
Thank you, Vinaka Vakalevu and Dhanyavaad.
May God Bless you all and our beloved nation, Fiji.