THE Minster for Youth and Sports Commander Viliame Naupoto believes the Fiji under-20 side has a good chance of qualifying for the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey in June.
Naupoto was the chief guest during the One World Flight Centre Fiji Football Association 2012 awards function at the Fun World Plaza in Nadi on Saturday.
In his address Naupoto noted the Fiji soccer had never qualified at the world stage.
"The Fiji U20 team will be in action at the upcoming Oceania Football Confederation playoffs and this is a great opportunity for the national side to finally qualify for a world event," Naupoto said.
"The Fiji FA awards were first held back in 1993 and the idea behind the wards was simply to honour the football players and officials for their hard work."
"Events such as this also offers good opportunity for reflection on the journey that we have taken individually, as a team, as a district and as a football fraternity."
"The Fiji FA has 23 districts and the parent body has implemented the "FIFA No to Racism" policy. There is a strong development program that has seen the likes of Roy Krishna, Pita Bolaitoga, Maciu Dunadamu, Taniela Waqa, Iliatia Tuilau secure overseas contracts."
"The successful implementation of the referees program has seen the likes of Ravinesh Kumar become the first person from Fiji to officiate in the FIFA World Club Cup and the London Olympics last year."
The OFC U20 playoffs will be held in Lautoka from March 21-29. The other countries that will participate in the event include New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.