8 July, 2017, 12:00 am
THE Vodafone Fiji under-19 women’s team participating in the Oceania Football Confederation U19 Championship in New Zealand has cost the Fiji Football Association about $200,000.
A 30-member squad was in camp for the past eight weeks before the team was trimmed to 20 on Thursday.
A large portion of the funds had to be allocated for the travel to Auckland with air fares peaking at the moment.
Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said this was an investment for the future.
He said parent body was serious about development of women’s football in the country.
During the team’s presentation ceremony on Thursday, Patel said they would treat men’s and women’s football equally.
“Fiji FA has done its part and now it is for the players to perform,” he said.
“Football is not a burden, it is a beautiful game.
“It is not an individual sport and that is why there are 11 players on the field.”
Patel urged the players to do their best and hold the nation’s flag high.
The OFC U19 tournament serves as the qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s U20 Championship to be played in France next year.
Fiji will open their campaign against Tonga at the Ngahue Reserve Soccer Fields two in Auckland on July 11.
The next game is against favourites New Zealand on July 14, followed by Samoa on July 17, Papua New Guinea on July 21 and New Caledonia on July 24.
Squad: Adi Ateca Tuwai (Ba), Cecelia Siteri Nainima (Ba), Mereoni Tora (Ba), Sekola Likusiga Waqanidrola (Rewa), Veniana Ranadi (Ba), Ledua Paul Senisea (Nadi), Koleta Maramanitavuto Likuculacula (Ba), Timaima Cokayawa Vuniyayawa (Rewa), Asenaca Diraluve (Savusavu), Luisa Cagi Tamanitoakula (Ba), Cema Tawai Nasau (Ba), Silina Adimaiwai Qarawaqa (Ba), Louisa Brianah Lestrow Simmons (Ba), Adi Miriama Masaqera Bakaniceva (Tailevu Naitasiri), Maca Latu Korolevu Ralagi (Rewa), Aliza Ankshara Hussein (Ba), Miliana Buretau (Navua), Cynthia Sonia Dutt (Labasa), Laca Tikosaya (Ba), Maria Mary Low Parr (Savusavu).