THE Fiji Football Association will release the national Under-20 squad members for district duties in the 2013 Fiji Sun/GP Batteries National Football League under strict guidelines.
This was passed after Fiji FA vice-president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy held an urgent meeting with national coaching director Juan Carlos Buzzetti and Fiji U20 coaches Imdad Ali and Ravinesh Kumar.
The district associations had earlier expressed disappointment following a directive that no players would be released for the NFL as they were preparing for the Oceania Football Confederation U20 playoffs in March.
Reddy said the district associations would need to take full responsibility of picking and dropping the U20 players after every game.
He said the players would only be released for matches on Viti Levu.
“We have set a strict guideline where the district associations have to take responsibility of returning the players to camp in Ba,” Reddy said.
“The players will only be released for one match on a particular day. So after the game it will be the responsibility of the district associations to return the player to camp immediately.
“We will not be releasing any player to teams travelling to Vanua Levu. This is because the trip to the north and back takes three to four days. We have three training sessions daily. If we release players to the north then they will be losing more than 15 training sessions.
“We are requesting the district presidents for corporation. We are moulding the players. After the Oceania playoffs they will be assets for their district teams.”
Some of the prominent district reps in the U20 squad include Junior Narendra Rao (Ba), Edward Justin (Lautoka), Napolioni Qasevakatini (Lautoka), Samuela Nabenia (Tavua), Jone Salauneune (Ba) and Rusiate Matirerega (Nadi).
The U20 team will remain in camp until the OFC U20 playoffs kick-off on March 17 in Lautoka.
Meanwhile, the official opening of the NFL will be held at Subrail Park in Labasa this Saturday.
Following the official opening Nadi will play Labasa at 1.30pm while Savusavu will take on Suva at 3.30pm.
Also on Saturday at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka Tavua will face Rewa at 1pm while Nadogra will play Ba at 3pm.
On Sunday at Subrail Park, Savusavu will play Nadi at 1.30pm followed by the Labasa versus Suva match at 3.30pm. At Churchill Park Lautoka will host Ba at 3pm.