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Fiji Time: 12:55 AM on Thursday 24 April

/ Front page / Sport

Parent body to focus on 'development'

Manoj Kumar
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Fiji Football Association sees its development plan as "main priority" in the fight for supremacy on the world stage.

Acting president Sheik Ibrahim said they could play weaker nations, win and improve their world rankings but would not do that.

"It won't make sense," he said.

"We won't get the much-needed exposure and to play nations who are way above us in the rankings is hard, especially the financial side of it."

Fiji dropped to an all-time low 172 in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

New Zealand is the best ranked team in the Oceania region on 90 followed by New Caledonia (106), Tahiti (143), Solomons (151), Vanuatu (166), Fiji (172), Samoa (175), Tonga (188), PNG (191), American Samoa (196) and Cook Islands(202).

"Our focus is on our development program," Ibrahim said.

"The more progress we make with it, the better our football gets and likewise the players.

"For example, if we do well in this under-20 championship then our rankings will surely improve. We also have the under-17 championship to look forward to."

World and European champions Spain is the top ranked team in the world followed by Germany and Argentina. Australia sits on 37th spot, second in the Asian region behind Japan (28).