I WONDER what you made of it, but I was absolutely shocked by some of the top player selections made by Fiji FA head coach Juan Carlos Buzzetti at the recent Courts Inter District Championship.
The most bizarre selection was the Player of the Day 5, Ba goalkeeper Jone Ralulu.
With all due respect to Ralulu and his family, I have a simple question for Buzzetti: "Is this some kind of joke?".
How on earth can you give the top award of the day to a player who, in all honesty, was the key man responsible for all the unnecessary mess that unfolded late in the Suva-Ba final.
Like it or loathe it, for me, what Ralulu did can only be described as 'cheating', like what Diego Maradona did for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final when his 'Hand of God' goal eliminated the English 2-1.
Maradona got away with it and Ralulu almost did as well if not for the television replays and my colleague Baljeet Singh's amazing shot in The Fiji Times.
Again, let me make it clear like I wrote last week that I have nothing against anyone, be it Ralulu or Buzzetti, but I am simply doing my job as a sports journalist and I hope my query makes sense.
Here are my reasons. Ralulu should have been a true sportsman and spoken up there and then with his players and match officials and help put to rest any doubts that one may have had about what at that time was being tagged as a 'ghost goal'.
However, he opted to keep mum and what unfolded after that is now history.
In one way, because of his dishonesty, Ba FA has come under disrepute and copped a huge fine and some Ba players could face bans.
And what does Buzzetti do, hands him the Best Player of the Day Award! What for? Cheating? In my 17 years in sports journalism, this would have to be like what former Suva and Nadi rep Manoa Keith put it the other night, "the sickest joke".
Secondly, Buzzetti's choice of New-Find of the Tournament, Suva goalkeeper Emori Ragata. Maybe he misinterpreted the meaning of 'new-find' or he simply saw Ragata for the first time.
Ragata has been playing regular football for the past three to four years with Labasa and Suva, was Suva's captain during their Fiji FACT triumph this year and has represented the country in FUTSAL. How can he be a 'new-find'?
Ragata is in top form right now and certainly deserves an award, but not the 'new-find' gong. Didn't Buzzetti see some of the young guns fielded by Nadroga, Tavua, Navua and Labasa? Didn't he see 16-year-old Iosefo Verevou's all-round performance and goal for Rewa against Ba on Thursday night? Didn't he see the high workrate put in by Navua's right midfielder Vineet Chand against Labasa and his goal in which he left two Fiji rep defenders and Fiji's number one goalkeeper mesmerised with a solo effort? Didn't he notice Vikrant Chand's touches and a goal whenever he came on for Labasa?
I spoke to Buzzetti over the phone yesterday and my questions went unanswered. "No comments on that," he quipped and referred me to Fiji FA.
A Fiji FA executive, who did not wish to be quoted, said they only acted on the selection made by Buzzetti.
It's no wonder we drew with Papua New Guinea at the recent Oceania Nations Cup. This was a PNG side that had not previously played international football for about eight years. Our failure to do well there was a huge loss to the Fiji FA.
It meant we also were booted out from the next leg of the World Cup qualifiers. Tahiti, with a local coach (Eddie Etaeta). won the ONC and will now join footballing superpowers Brazil, Spain and Italy in the Confederations Cup in Brazil next June.
How's that for an achievement? Buzzetti should consider himself lucky to still be around despite that blemish.
However, with the way he has gone about with his award selections at the IDC, one wonders whether if he is the right man for the top job. Come on Fiji FA, go get someone like former Socceroo Frank Farina and have locals Gurjit Singh and Yogendra Dutt to work with him.
In just one year with PNG, Farina has proved his worth. Get him before he embarrasses us further by leading PNG to victory over us at the next Pacific Games.