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President backs U-23 Olympic bid

Speaking during the team’s farewell dinner at Ba Academy on Monday evening Patel said most of the players would never have been to a world stage event like this. #“Some of you took part in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, but the Rio Olympics is quite different.#“It is second to none. Only 16 teams will be represented in the Olympics whereas in the World Cup we have 32, it’s only half the teams, so you became the elites of the elites to play in the Olympics,“ he said.#“Savor this moment, make sure you are disciplined. It is the key. When you are on the field, play your hearts out.#He urged players to play within the law and play as a team, not as individuals.#“It is the country you represent. It’s not table tennis or lawn tennis, it as an eleven man game, together as a team you will win.#“People will count us out, don’t worry about it we have done surprises in New Zealand in the FIFA U-20 World Cup when we beat Honduras and anything can happen if you play and stick to the coaches’ plan and play your hearts out for your country, vanua and family.#“You will be flying the Fiji flag where most don’t know what Fiji is all about or where Fiji is on the world map but you will show them. Even though we are a small island nation, we are not there to make up numbers, we will play our hearts out.”#The team left for Brazil on Tuesday and will play its first match against Korea on August 4 in Salvador.#

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