Fiji Football Association in conjunction with Vodafone Fiji launched the Vodafone Fiji national U16 Youth League last Saturday at the Fiji Football Association’s headquarters in Suva.
Speaking during the launch Fiji FA vice president and National League Board chairman Yogeshwar Singh said the launch was an historic moment for Fiji Football and the national as a whole.
“It is a historic moment for Fiji Football because we are going to do something that will benefit the nation as a whole,” Singh said.
Singh said Fiji FA was heading in new direction and their aim was to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
“Our long term target is to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Mexico,”Singh said.
Singh said since there would were two and half spots available from the Oceania for the 2026 FIFA World Cup we had started preparation now.
“Fiji Football is not targeting tomorrow or the year after, we are targeting 2026 which is nine years away.
“Nine years would mean that these youngsters would be in their peak to represent Fiji when the time comes.
“This is the whole idea of having a youth league; the programme will be funded by FIFA, Vodafone and Fiji Football.
The U16 Youth League is supported and funded by FIFA, Fiji Football and Vodafone providing teams with jerseys, bus fares, coach and referees allowances and referees.
“Vodafone being our local sponsor have come up with additional funding.
“We are going to fund uniforms, bus fares, coaches and referees allowances and this will cost Fiji Football no less than $10,500 a week to run it.
“It is only possible because we have sponsors like Vodafone and of course FIFA.
“We are now targeting to represent Fiji in the FIFA World Cup and we can only do this by getting the youngsters to play football at the highest level possible.”
A total of 18 districts will take part in the Northern, Eastern and Southern zones around the country.