Fiji FA targets five – Overseas-based Fijians for FIFA World Cup bid

Fiji soccer team skipper Roy Krishna and Scott Wara of England during the team announcement against Solomon for a friendly at ANZ Stadium. Picture: RAMA/FILE

The Fiji Football Association is targeting at least five overseas-based players for its 2022 FIFA World Cup Oceania Football Confederation qualifiers.

Roy Krishna, who plays with ATK Mohun Bagan in India, Canada-based Nicholas Prasad and Scott Wara, who resides in England, are three of those on top of the list.

The parent body is also trying to rope in Zachary Verhoven, who plays for Atletico Ottawa in the Canadian Premier League and Daniel Hall, who represents Central Coast Mariners in the A-League in Australia. Both players have links to Fiji.

Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf said the OFC was yet to set out the dates for the regional qualifiers next year.

He said it could be held either in late January or March.

He said they had applied to the Ministry of Commence Trade Tourism and Transport, Ministry of Health and the Fiji National Sports Commission to allow their national team players to gather in camp to start their preparations.

“We want the national team players to train together,” Yusuf said.

“The safe protocol policies have been set for the side. They will be based at the academy in Ba and the gates will be locked from visitors so they will be in one bubble.

“We want to start training now because if we don’t then we will not get enough time and will have to send an unprepared team for the qualifiers.”

Yusuf said they were looking at getting the players from overseas closer to the dates for the qualifying tournament.

“Overseas-based players can’t travel now because the borders are closed. When it gets close to the qualifiers then we will fly them straight to the venue for the final camp.”

The OFC has half a slot for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

This means the winner of the OFC qualifying event will have to play the fifth based team from the Asian Football Confederation to book a place in the pinnacle event of the sport.

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