The Vodafone Fiji National football head coach Christophe Gamel has slammed critics who claimed that he had been pressured into selecting players for the national team after he named his 30-member squad in Nausori last Sunday.
Gamel made it clear that he is the one who decides which player gets into the national squad and is not pressured by Fiji FA.
“I want to make it clear that Fiji FA is always the one getting attacked but actually I’m the only one who should be blamed,” Gamel said.
“I want to stop all the criticisms now. There is no pressure on me to select players. I choose the players that I want and need and if I’m not doing that then I won’t be doing this job.
“The first game will be hard because honestly one training session to prepare will be tough but we’re not only planning for this game, we are planning for the future as well.
“We have a young team and also talented one as well. Seven districts are represented here, I’ve kept some senior players and bring in new ones and we need to see the potential of the players and how well they will gel in with each other and read the game.
“Those are the things I want to improve, and we need the support of the fans and everyone in Fiji.”
The players will go into camp today ahead of their international friendly against Solomon Islands on Thursday.
Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said Gamel has a duty to fulfil and those players who make excuses should not to be part of the squad.
“The national coach has his vision on what the national team should be made off, it is no longer the well-known names that will be part of the team,” Patel said.
“But it will be based on skill and their capabilities as seen by Christophe Gamel. Fans have been asking for the national team and this is now the opportune time.
“Fiji FA will take action on players who are available and don’t want to join the national team.
“The country has to come first for them and sometimes certain players do not show up once they are named in the squad and if they don’t show up then we will definitely look into it and take action.”
National squad: Ba- Remuera Tekiata, Sitiveni Cavuilagi, Saula Waqa, Laisenia Raura, Shaneel Naidu; Lautoka- Kolinio Sivoki, Kavaia Rawaqa, Dave Radrigai, Ilaitia Tuilau; Nadi- Alfraz Ali, Napolioni Qasevakatini, Samuela Tamanisau, Waisake Tabucava, Andrew Naicker; Rewa- Simione Tamanisau, Vuniuci Tikomaimereke, Amani Makoe, Epeli Saukuru, Madhwan Goundar, Iosefo Verevou; Suva- Setareki Hughes, Ravinesh Karan Singh, Tevita Koroi; Labasa- Taniela Waqa, Christopher Wasasala; Navua- Zane Lingham, Rajnesh Raju, Manav Permal; Overseas- James Hoyt, Roy Krishna, Rajneel Chand.