Fiji FA assists players with

Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel. Picture: ANISH CHAND/FILE

The Fiji Football Association has rolled out its $155,000 relief package to assist players who have been affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package which includes one month’s supply of groceries will be distributed to players who are solely dependent on football as their main source of income.

The first phase of the distribution started in Navutu, Lautoka, yesterday with Lautoka Football Association players being the first to receive the package.

This is the second round of relief distribution through Fiji FA’s social responsibility program after the first round was held last August.

Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said after a survey they found that most of the players were dependent on football as their income.

“The district associations when they don’t have income coming in, then it becomes the duty of the parent body which is the Fiji FA to support them,” Patel said.

“For this we felt best to start off the help with the eight premier districts followed by the six women’s super league teams.

“As the survey comes in for the senior districts they will assisted first in Viti Levu and afterwards in Vanua Levu.”

Fiji FA has once again partnered with Punjas to organise the relief package amounting to $180 for each player.

Patel said their assistance would not stop until the sporting restrictions were lifted.

“We have a partnership with Punjas as they are our sponsor for the Battle of the Giants,” Patel said.

“We came up with a package of groceries to last close to a month for the players.

“We feel when the Government with its COVID-19 protocol programs are in order and the lockdown and sporting restrictions are lifted, then we will look at providing other assistance to the district associations too.

“But if the restrictions are not lifted then this will not stop here.

This is only the second round of relief and we will look at assisting the players in the future.”

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