Group A: Labasa, Nadi, Suva and Rakiraki. Group B Lautoka, Rewa, Ba and Dreketi
The eight teams in the premier division have known their fate after the 2017 INKK Mobile Battle of the Giants pool draws were done yesterday at Fiji FA Headquarters in Vatuwaqa.
Host Labasa is in Group A with minnows Rakiraki,Vodafone Fiji FACT semi-finalist Suva and finalist Nadi while Group B has defending champions Lautoka,Vodafone Fiji FACT champions Rewa, Ba and Dreketi.
Fiji Football Association vice president Yogeshwar Singh said the INKK Mobile Battle of the Giants have been growing bigger and better every year since its inception in 1978.
“The INKK Mobile BOG has grown from a one of fundraiser into an integral and successful part of Fiji Football, “Singh said.
Singh said the tournament’s group stages would be played at Subrail Park in Labasa while the semi-finals and finals would be determined later.
“The finals will be determined after the four qualifiers and if Labasa and Rewa qualifies it may be likely played in Nausori or if Lautoka and Ba makes it, it may be played in Lautoka.”
“This is the 39th year of the tournament and has been growing stronger and stronger every year with some changes.
Singh said the fans could expect tough competition and quality football like it was played during the recent Vodafone Fiji FACT in Nausori.
“The fans could expect the same type of quality and competitive competition during the Inkk BOG like the Vodafone Fiji FACT.”
The former Nausori mayor said they were very mindful to kept football very clean.
“Drug test will continue at the INKK BOG and that is the way to keep football clean.”
He also said the winner would receive $15000 prize money while the runner-up gets $4000 and two semifinalist gets $1000 each.
INKK Mobile’s Sales Manager, Pravendra Shankar acknowledged the efforts of Fiji Football Association in their part in organizing the 2017 Inkk Battle of the Giants and wish all the participating teams the very best for the tournament.
Suva Football president Ritesh Pratap said the pools were evenly drawn and thanked Fiji FA for the new format where teams are evenly drawn.
Rakiraki president Shaneel Goundar said they would do their best in the INKK Mobile BOG after getting the taste of the Vodafone Fiji FACT this year.
“I am happy with the Pool draw even though we are in tough pool we will prepare well to face the big guns,”Goundar said.