More want to join meet

THERE is big interest for next year’s RC Manubhai/Apco Coatings Fiji International Veterans Tournament with teams from Australia and Canada showing interest.

This year’s event attracted teams from New Zealand and the United States.

Ba Veterans won the four-day tournament after beating New Zealand Lautoka Masters in the final at Prince Charles Park.

The Ba Veteran’s team won 4-3 via the penalty shootout.

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel said this year’s event was a success and had grown bigger from last year.

Patel said the sponsors had shown commitment for next year’s tournament.

“We are looking at 20 teams which is six more from this year,” he said.

“There will teams from Australia that will be participating and also another team has confirmed from the United States.

“The Canadians have shown a lot of interest.”

A total of eight local teams participated at the tournament. However, there were more than one team from some districts.

Patel said this was one issue that they would try and resolve. He said they hoped to expand veterans football to the North.

“We have to make sure that there is one team from a district instead of two or three which splits the districts,” he said.

“What we want is unity in sports. We will be extending the Veterans Football to Vanua Levu. There are many players from Labasa that have represented the nation. Maybe we will have to look at forming veterans clubs there.

“I don’t think it is viable for the district associations to run veterans football. The veterans associations should be on their own.

“The district association need to focus on development work. We hope to introduce transfer windows for the veterans. Also all the proceeds collected from the tournament will go into the Legends trust fund.”

Ba Veterans won $4000.