THE Lautoka soccer team has suffered a major blow with three of its key players suspended before the Courts Inter-District Championshp for breaching the Fiji Football Association standing rules.
Defenders Arvindra Naidu, Krishneel Dutt and mid-field king pin Alvin Avinesh copped the suspensions after participating in a tournament organised by the Australia Fiji Soccer Association.
Under the Fiji FA regulations local players need prior clearance from the district association and the parent body to participate in tournaments abroad.
Fiji FA chief executive officer Bob Kumar said this was not the first time that players have been suspended for failing to obtain clearance from the relevant authorities to participate in overseas tournaments.
"The three players participated in a tournament organised by Australia Fiji Soccer Association from September 20 to September 23," Kumar said.
"They did not seek any clearance which is a clear breach of the Fiji FA standing rules. As a result they have been suspended from all levels of the Fiji FA sanctioned matches. They have been charged and will have to appear before the Fiji FA board of control on October 9."
Lautoka Football Association president Shalendra Prasad said they respected the decision of the parent body.
He said the trio departed for Australia without the knowledge of the LFA.
"The suspensions come as a huge blow as we are the hosts for the IDC," Prasad said.