Fiji Football Association celebrated the 40 years of National League existence last Friday at Sugar Growers Council Hall in Lautoka.
Speaking during the function National League Board chairman Yogeshwar Singh said it was a very special occasion as they celebrate the 40 years of national football league.
“National football league was started by no other than late Mr Shashi Mahendra Singh, who was the coach for the Fiji national team and he thought football will only grow in this country if we have national league, ”Singh said.
“Together him was S A Hussein who was the vice president, Hari Raj Naicker,referees delegate and Mohammed Sattar of Nadi ,Vijay Prasad of Rewa, Rati Lal of Suva and Arun Singh of Ba.These were the people instrumental in setting up the national football league,”
Singh said national football league has grown 40 years that we have played and we had up and downs with new regulations.
“But not to forget the people who have done it and some of them are not around and some are still supporting football but the league has grown from day to day,”
The former Rewa FA president said I am proud to say that President Rajesh Patel had the fore say to play the game from 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
“We were criticized then but today I am glad, and I think our president must be a very proud man that we all are enjoying the 90 minute football in the country.”
Singh said past forty years there was a number of sponsors who came and went and he would like to acknowledge their contribution and support.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who sponsored and supported the national football league.”
He said they were also very proud to have Vodafone on board sponsoring the National league for the past two years.
“Vodafone as you all know is our major sponsor and I thank them for their support in every way they have been doing.
Singh said the Vodafone League would not have been possible without the support of the districts.
“The Vodafone Premier League is progressing because of the support of the districts and I must acknowledge them, “Singh said.
He said the National Football League is the country has been growing every year which is very competitive.
“The league is growing every year as we have Vodafone Premier League, Vodafone Youth League, Vodafone Senior League, Vodafone Women’s League and Boys and Girls Vodafone U-16 League.”
Meanwhile Lautoka was awarded with the Vodafone Premier League trophy and $18000 prize money as the winner of the Vodafone Premier League while Ba received $6000 as runners-up.