Plans for FIFA projects

Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Fiji Football Association’s FIFA funded projects will continue despite the trying times caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fiji FA’s sponsors have already indicated a halt in sponsorship funds until the end of the year which may have a big impact on the sport if the major tournaments like the upcoming Vodafone Fiji FACT are cancelled.

Tournaments such as the Fiji FACT, Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants and Courts Inter District Championship are major revenue earners for the parent body apart from the funding received from world governing body FIFA and Oceania Football Confederation.

Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf said the annual Fiji FACT which was scheduled to be played next at the ANZ Stadium in Suva next month would most likely be moved depending on when the government lifted the ban on the staging of sporting activities.

Yusuf said if revenue did not come then Fiji FA would be drastically affected.

“We may be forced to lay-off staff and work with a skeletal crew and wait for the situation to improve,” he said.

“We are now relying on FIFA and OFC assistance to take us through this difficult time.

“The FIFA projects in the country will continue as scheduled. This includes the establishment of a technical centre in Labasa, the establishment of a gymnasium in Suva and the refurbishment of the academy in Ba.”

The Vodafone Premier League will be the first to resume once the sporting ban is lifted.

Defending champion Ba is way behind on the VPL schedule playing only one match while Rewa, Labasa, Nasinu have played five and Suva, Lautoka, Nadi and Navua have completed four. Yusuf said resuming the season should not be a problem but regathering the momentum in football following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will take about one to two years.

“A lot of funding comes from the number of tournaments that we run,” he said.

“So we want to complete all our tournaments. We will try and squeeze in everything as soon as the go ahead is given by Government.”

Nadi is the Fiji FACT defending champion while Labasa took out the BOG and IDC titles last year.

More Stories