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Walkout!

Manoj Kumar
Monday, October 15, 2012

WAISAKE Navunigasau remains adamant he had scored the goal that would have most likely ended Suva's 28-year wait for the Lloyd Farebrother Trophy.

With some two minutes to go in the second spell of extra-time, Ba players, led by Osea Vakatalesau marched off the field in protest against the goal in the grand final of the Courts Inter-district Championship at Govind Park.

"I headed it and clearly saw it go in before Jone Ralulu pulled it back from behind the line," said the tall defender.

Referee's assistant Kavitesh Behari signaled a goal and referee Andrew Achari pointed to the centre circle to give Suva a 1-0 lead.

This drew an angry reaction from the Ba players as Ralulu had the ball in his hands.

The Ba players then marched off the field. The Ba fans in the near 10,000 crowd joined the protest and the police called in more reinforcements.

Some six police vehicles, two motor bikes and a fire brigade truck were brought into the field of play to escort the match officials and Suva players out of the ground.

It took over an hour to do that. The Fiji Football Association, acting on the referee's report, abandoned the match.

"We have decided to abandon the match for security reasons," said Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel.

"The Fiji FA board will now meet to give a decision."

The match officials, Ba players and their top brass did not wish to comment.

Ba FA boss Rishi Kumar said they would only comment after conducting their own meeting.

Angry Ba fans hurled verbal abuse at Behari and threw plastic bottles at Suva reserve players.

In the match proper, both teams were fairly even and the match ended scoreless at full-time. Ba though had two goals disallowed.

Suva last won the IDC in 1983. In the semi-finals, Ba beat Navua 2-1 in extra-time and Suva pipped Lautoka 1-0.





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