Soccer plans

THE Fiji Football Association is heading in the right direction with plans to play international friendly matches later this year.

This was confirmed by Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf.

He said Fiji had started moving further in terms of playing international matches.

Fiji coach Christophe Gamel, went to Asian countries last week to negotiate some international friendly matches and is expected back today.

“Christophe went to Hong Kong and will come back with a good progress and our president Rajesh Patel will announce the names of the countries we will play with after we meet Christophe this week,” he said.

“There are a lot of international friendly matches coming up and we might also travel to Asian countries to play matches there.

“We want to increase the international matches to improve our football (FIFA) ranking and fans could see the team play.”

Fiji will be playing New Caledonia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup stage three Oceania qualifiers next month on a home and away basis.

Yusuf said Fiji was expected to play four to five international matches.

“Fiji is now taking a different approach to football.

“There was a massive positive feedback on social media after we played New Zealand in March and fans were happy with the possession football which the team played.

“We want to keep the momentum going.

“We want to get the feedback from the people and we love the criticisms as well, so we can improve ourselves because this is for the Fiji as a nation.”

Meanwhile, Fiji will host New Caledonia on June 7 at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

* Hope for soccer — PAGE 33

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