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Ba agitates Fiji FA over champions league deadline

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, January 24, 2013

THE Fiji Football Association has expressed concerns at the delay by the 4R Electrical Ba Football Club in naming its squad for the Oceania Champions League which starts in March.

Ba needs to comply with the February 3rd deadline to name its 30 member squad for the regional tournament which serves as the direct qualifier for the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.

This date also includes the transfer deadline for the ten overseas players which the side can register.

A frustrated Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said the Ba officials needed to start working on the team registrations and transfers quickly. He said time was running out.

Patel said Ba was representing the country and had a good chance of reaching Morocco.

"I'm very concerned and frustrated that the BFC is not taking heed of the February 3rd deadline for the transfer and registration of players for the Oceania Champions League," Patel said.

"Ba has qualified for the competition in the past and they know that they need to get key players in the positions. If they don't fulfil it now then they will definitely get into trouble."

"We have requested for the team list but they haven't provided it to us as to who they want to get in. The Ba officials need to start working right now. If they are sitting on their backs and then are expecting players to come and play for them, it will never happen."

"At the end of the day they are representing the country. It is a very good chance for Ba to qualify as they are playing the island nation teams in their group."

"Then the semi-finals will be played on a home and away basis which will be an advantage for them. If Hekari United can qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup with players from all over the region, than why can't Ba?"

"Ba is known as the champion district side but it all comes down to the Oceania Champions League."

Ba Football Association secretary Iliaz Khan said the Champions League was totally a different level of competition.

He said their focus was on the district team.

Khan said they would hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss their Champion League plans.

He said they were fully aware of concerns raised by Patel.

"We will work with the Fiji FA to assemble the best team," Khan said.

"We know that BFC will be representing the nation so first we will hold a meeting with the council and executives. We will then liaise with Fiji FA informing them on the overseas players that we will be bringing. Ba will fully co-operate with the parent body."

Ba has already received the transfer certificates of Fayah Camara of the Philipines and Clarence Clarke of Liberia.

Top local players including Samuela Kautoga, Ilaitia Tuilau, Pita Bolaitoga, Taniela Waqa, and Maciu Dunadamu have been snapped up by overseas teams participating in the Champions League.

Ba is grouped with Hekari United (Papua New Guinea), Solomon Warriors (Solomon Islands) and Amicale (Vanuatu) while the other pool has Mont Dore (New Caledonia), Auckland City (New Zealand), Waitakere United (New Zealand) and Dragon (Tahiti).

The Oceania Champions League will be played from March 30 to May 19.

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