Since it was first played in Suva in 1938, the Inter-District Championship has become the most prestigious soccer event in the Fiji FA calendar.
It is a tournament with a rich history. Seventy one years have passed since the momentous decision to hold a soccer tournament involving district teams from October 8-10 in 1938.
Over the years district soccer has grown from a single division of five teams that competed in the 1938 IDC to three divisions of 23 district sides with accompanying age group competitions.
The IDC is now generally considered the most colorful and exciting soccer tournament in Fiji.
Kicking off on Thursday October 8, the 2009 Courts/Homecentres IDC promises to bring the same thrill to the tourist town of Nadi.
A lot of foreign players and coaches have been part of the IDC mix in recent years. This year is no exception as over a dozen players and some technical adviser will be featuring for various districts at Prince Charles Park.
Nadi last hosted the tournament in 1999 and managed to lift the trophy on its home turf. It will be interesting to see what the “Green Machine” has to offer this time around to the fans that are expected to fill the stands and embankment during the five days of the tournament.
Let’s take a quick look at the tournament over the last decade.
Host district Ba entered the final of the 2008 Courts/Homecentres Inter District Championship with high hopes of making it three in a row but the going wasn’t easy at all after Lautoka’s Malakai Waqa struck the lone and winning goal of the final midway in the first half from an adventurous attempt. The Blues then went into defence mode and did not allow the Men In Black to equalise. Goalkeeper Ali Cem Akbal proved to be the hero of the side making some daring saves in the second spell. Despite Peni Finau’s departure and the Blues playing the last quarter of the match with only 10 players, the Dennis Singh-coached side held on to win on enemy territory and lifted the Lloyd Farebrother Cup after two seasons.
Ba fielded a very young team in the tournament and displayed a shaky performance in its pool matches. But after qualifying for the semifinals, the Men In Black did not look back and hoisted the cup once again. With a young goalie Epeli Codro and youngsters Rinal Prasad and Tuimasi Manuca making the starting team in the final against Nadi, the star-studded Jetsetters, with its...