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By Fiji Football Association President Rajesh Patel

FIFA FUTURO III Course #For the information of the general public, the FIFA FUTURO III referees and instructors course is currently being held at the Water Front Hotel in Lautoka. It is a very important course as the development of referees is very vital and we are very grateful to FIFA for bringing this course to Fiji. #Participants from all over the Oceania region are participating in the week long course. #Hosting a FIFA course gives us an opportunity to have few of our extra participants as if the course was in overseas then we would have been only allowed to have three. #As we are the host seven of Fiji’s participants are part of the course. #Referees play an important role in the development of football thus it is important for them to learn the right rules and techniques of the law of the games.#In Fiji when referees get old there is an opportunity for them to become instructors. Once they become instructors they have to show the right path to the youths. # OFC Champions League #It was passed in the Oceania Football Confederation congress that 12 teams will now take part in the 2014 Oceania Champions League. #From the 12, there will be two teams from Fiji. The good news is that the winner and runner up of the Fiji Sun GP Batteries National Football League will qualify for the Oceania Champions League next year. #Unlike in the past, the Oceania Champions League will be played in a tournament format with semi’s and final. I’m proud to say that Fiji has been given the right to host. # The 12 teams will be divided in three pools with three pool winners and one best runner up qualifying for the semi-finals. #We are thankful to OFC for allowing Fiji to field two teams. #2013 Vodafone Fiji FACT#The stage is set for the Vodafone Fiji FACT which starts this Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. I’m pleased to announce that honourable Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will be the chief guest and will officially open the 2013 event. #The eight participating teams have earned their right and now the onus will be on them to go out and win the title for their district.#A cloud of controversy surrounds the Vodafone Fiji FACT with the saga concerning Labasa Football Association. #I would like to make it clear that as the National Football body we have a set of rules and guidelines to follow which will not change for anyone. #Fiji Football Association is a respective body which will not be moved by claims, threats and accusations brought forward by few officials in a bid to excel in their campaign. # FIFA Congress #The FIFA Congress which concluded in Mauritius a fortnight ago was a very positive one. Many new initiatives have been lined up for Fiji Football Association which I will be revealing soon in my column. #I would also like to announce that I have been re-elected in the FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee. Fiji FA solicitor Samuel Ram has been elected in the FIFA Appeals Committee and Vice president Yogeshwar Singh in the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility. # Nissan Navara #Football fans in the country can win a new Nissan Navara during this Vodafone Fiji. The fans can take part by just TXTING FACT to 368.#

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