The scores were locked 2-all at full time and according to Faiyaz Ali, the organiser of the “Crime Prevention Week” friendly match said Suva did not want to progress to extra time after the 90 minutes of play.
“The 90 minutes match was good but Suva didn’t agree to continue in extra time to declare the winner. The approval was given by the Fiji Football Association and we wanted a clear winner but Suva coach Gurjit Singh got all his players in the bus,” Ali stressed.
“I gave $900 bus fare for the Suva team to travel with,I also provided them with refreshments and dinner. Lautoka team wanted to play the extra time and penalty if the teams played to a draw at the end,” he said.
Suva FA coach Gurjit Singh had a different side to the tale. The champion coach confirmed that his side did not walk out of the match but rather had a mutual understanding with the Lautoka team.
“The scores were 2-2 at the end of the match and I think the defending champion should keep the trophy and in this case Suva was the defending champions,” Singh said.
“The match also started late then the scheduled time and it was 10.30pm when the match ended. The players were also tired of the long journey. We had already changed then the organisers decided to play extra time and even penalty if the team drew at the end of the extra time,” Singh added.
The former national senior side coach said the capital side will not participate in this event again.
“It is not easy for us to take the team to play away and we were not given the prize money for winning the match last year. In future we won’t take part in such tournament because it is really hard to get the players.
Organisers have not given us anything for winning last year.” Singh said.
Ali labeled Singh’s comments as baseless. He also stressed that this year’s prize money will be divided equally.
“For the prize money of last year there was no agreement between the two teams that the winner will be getting the prize as it was a friendly match. I had already paid Suva $500 earlier for them and I will be paying them another $250 soon so that the prize money is shared equally between the two teams.
“The trophy which was donated by Rajesh Patel (Fiji FA President) is now with me and it has not been given to any teams. I will get teams like Ba and Nadi to play against Lautoka in future.” Ali said.
Suva took the lead in the first half with the goals from former Lautoka players Kenneth Oneyama and Samuela Drudru while Lautoka managed to score in the second half of the play as Dave Radrigai and Ali Anthony equalised for the Blues.
FIJI FA MEDIA