The Fiji Football Association chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf commended the University of the South Pacific (USP) Indian Students Association (ISA) executives for putting up a grand three-day football championship last weekend.
Yusuf, who was the chief guest during the closing ceremony, said the level of competition in just the final day had been really stiff.
“The level of competition this tournament created has been really stiff.
“I could also see some good footballers who can make a name for them in years to come.
“At the end of the day, I want this tournament to grow; 18 teams in a three-day tournament is a massive task and I commend the current ISA executives for the great effort,” he said.
He said football is believed to be a uniting factor amongst people from all walks of life.
“The fact remains that football is a uniting factor for everybody, the people all around Fiji has been part of this tournament and this is why football is played.
“Fiji FA has been stagnant for past 18 years and we are now moving in the direction as we want to be innovative, grow the game, create a good football environment in Fiji and Fiji FA will now be creating commissions and boards and we are happy to say that we will also be looking at USP students to come and be part of those boards.”
Also present throughout the final day of competition was the Rakiraki Football president Shaneel Goundar.
Meanwhile, Samba Navuans defeated Northern FC 1-0 in the grand final and walked away with $1,000 prizemoney, winning trophy with 22 gold medals while Northern settled for $500 cash, runner up trophy with 22 silver medals.
Navuans had the services of Dreketi forward Menon Ram with national futsal rep Suraj Chand.
The three-day championship saw a total of 18 teams battling out as the tournament had lots of giveaways. The tournament also featured district reps with the likes of Krishneel Shekhar (Rakiraki), Ibrahim Sultan (Taveuni), Mohammed Issac (Labasa), Menon Ram (Dreketi), Sunny Deol (Nadroga), James Pillay (Lautoka), Rodrick Chand (National futsal rep), Abdul Mosheem (former Suva rep), Sahil Naresh (Manukau Sanatan), Anish Kumar (Nasinu), Reginald Singh (National futsal rep), Shavindra Nath (former Nasinu rep), Peter Pranesh (former Rewa rep) and Vikash Reddy (former Navua and futsal rep).
The Navuans made a clean-sweep this semester after winning the ISA Futsal tournament, USP-SA Soccer tournament before winning the USP-ISA Football Championship which was tagged as the biggest in the ISA history.
Winning goal scorer and team captain Shavindra Nath said making a clean-sweep was their aim from the very first day of the semester.
“It’s a great achievement for us as we have been aiming for from the first day of this semester.
“This was the final and the biggest of this semester and winning this is definitely a great feeling,” Nath said.
He said their win was dedicated to a great friend Monish Kumar who lost his life in a fatal road accident three months ago.
“We lost a great friend Monish and this entire semester was dedicated to him.
“I would like thank the boys, the Almighty and the ISA executives for a wonderful tournament.”