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Grand opportunity for young footballers

Moiz Munif
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

THE Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), last weekend announced that four World Cup places were available for the finalists of their under-19 and U16 playoffs scheduled for later this year.

The OFC under-19 championship will be held from August 5-18 in Tahiti.

Fiji has been drawn in Group B with Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Defending champions New Zealand occupy Group A with Tahiti, Papua New Guinea and the winner of preliminaries playoff.

The two finalists will get a ticket each to the meet.

Fiji last won the U19 championship in 2004 to become the first Fijian team in history to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup.

The OFC U16 Championship is booked for September 9 to 22 in the Solomon Islands.

Fiji is in Group B with New Caledonia, Tahiti and the winner of the preliminaries playoff.

Group A sees host Solomon Islands along with Vanuatu, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Like the U19 championship the two finalists in this tournament will also qualify.

Fiji Football Association chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf said they were out to select a strong side.

"Preparations started during the Fiji Cup last year.

"Coaches had been working overtime and had looked at players from different zones and few players from overseas were also interested," he said.

Yogendra Dutt is in charge of the U16 side while Lautoka coach Kamal Suwamy the U19.

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