Fiji FA withholds grant pending local league competition

Iliesa Lino in defence for Labasa against Suva's Christopher Wasasala during their clash at the 2019 Vodafone Fiji FACT tournament at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

CERTAIN district associations have copped penalties for not complying with the Fiji Football Association regulations on conducting their ordinary congress on time and starting off with the local league competition.

While the associations have not been named, Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel revealed three premier districts were in default with their local league competition.

Patel said there was a penalty and the grants had been withheld until the completion of the congress and the start of the club competition.

“It is an internal matter but they are now complying with it,” he said.

“They will hold it after the Fiji FACT and all have given the dates for their ordinary congress. It is part of complying with the status.

“The reason we have done this is because in the past, the districts took things for granted that they will get the money.

“We will now enforce the rules. It is for the benefit of the districts as they will have better administrators and have their accounts in order.”

There is a mandatory number of clubs for the local league competitions for the premier and senior districts.

Patel said the premier districts needed to have at least 10 clubs while the senior districts needed six.

“That’s the minimum requirement for club registrations,” he said.

“If they don’t have that, we can take away their full membership and relegate them to associate members.

“If they still remain non-compliant, they will be relegated completely.

“Nalawa had the same problem, Vatukoula and Levuka went through it. Bua just got readmitted last year.

“We want to make sure that the districts help in the development of football and not to just take the grants and don’t do any development at all,” Patel said.

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