- Fiji begins new nationwide girls’s league this weekend
- National workforce reached new heights throughout France 2019 qualifying
- FIFA-supported league a lift for nationwide workforce ahead of 2023 qualifiers
For many, Fiji conjures soothing photos of palm timber, golden seashores and idyllic heat waters. That tropical paradise can certainly be discovered, however the Melanesian nation has additionally boasts a surprisingly robust soccer and sporting tradition.
Fiji was undoubtedly a footballing pioneer amongst island nations within the Pacific. The Melanesians have been, by some margin, the primary Pacific facet to compete in Oceania FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers alongside Australia and New Zealand. Their astounding 1988 World Cup win over a powerful Socceroos facet on a frog-infested Prince Charles Park in Nadi nonetheless resonates among the many native sporting fraternity.
But now the platform for a new chapter in Fijian soccer is being put in place, and the early indicators are very encouraging. Women’s soccer loved a landmark second this weekend with the opening of the six-workforce FIFA-funded nationwide Women’s Super League competitors. FIFA’s involvement additionally consists of provision of assist gear, funding and capability constructing for coaches, with a girls’s soccer grant additionally lately authorised.
The flurry of exercise is yet one more gauge of the spin-off advantages after final yr’s announcement that the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ will happen within the area. OFC are assured one spot within the new world play-off occasion to be held simply previous to the Australia/New Zealand-based match.
Two years in the past, Fiji well timed broke new ground in Women’s World Cup qualifying by reaching the continental decider in opposition to New Zealand. Papua New Guinea’s lengthy held reign within the Pacific appeared unbreakable till Fiji stepped up in late 2018.
Now, with 2023 qualifiers scheduled for subsequent yr, nationwide coach Marika Rodu is closely invested within the new competitors. “The objective is to see all the teams adopt the same playing philosophy so the fans can enjoy watching them,” mentioned Rodu.
“This give us opportunities to see the weakness in the teams and players which we will give feedback to the coaches and that is how we going to see the best in the competition. At the end the players will be developed and exposed playing in the competition which will boost the performance of the national team as well.”
Fiji FA board member and FIFA Women in Football Leadership Program participant, Naziah Ali says it’s well timed to supply additional impetus two years out from the 2023 Women’s World Cup. “Since the last Women’s World Cup in France, the world now sees women’s football in a more positive light and we plan to take advantage of this positive momentum when it comes in our region,” she advised FIFA.com.
“We not only have an opportunity to qualify for the play off but we also have a lot to gain when the world turns their eyes on the Pacific. As a region with a small women’s football footprint compared to Europe and the Americas, with the increased media attention and hype, we hope that we can inspire more women and girls to participate, as well as attract more sponsors to invest in the sport.”
Ali says the Fiji FA has simply authorised a strategic plan which has an enormous give attention to the event of girls’s soccer. “Finance is huge for the growth of women’s football and we would like to see that we improve the game, the teams, players, coaches and administrators in the future,” she mentioned.
“We’ve come a great distance since we began within the early 90s. From being unranked a pair of years again to being sixty fifth on the FIFA girls’s soccer rating is an efficient begin for a small nation like ours and we’re bold in our prospect to qualify for the upcoming or the subsequent Women’s World Cup.
“We hope that young Fijian girls would follow the Women’s World Cup journey and be inspired to be future footballers.”