Ten players have been disciplined, Anil Sharma replaced and a new format has been announced for two of Fiji Football’s major tournaments at today’s Board of Control meeting in Nadi.
Speaking to FijiLive, Fiji Football president Rajesh Patel confirmed three Ba players, two Suva reps, two from Nadroga, one from Labasa, a Nadi player and a Lautoka rep have been disciplined and will appear before the disciplinary committee and the Board of Control in due course to hear charges against them.
Osea Vakatalesau, Abu Zahid and Avinesh Swamy have been charged for the events that transpired during the 2012 IDC final in Ba last month.
“Suva’s Simione Maikali too has been implicated in the incident for his part in inciting the incident,” Patel said.
“Along with the three Ba players, he will appear before the BOC as per Fiji FA’s statute at a date that will be decided later by the BOC at their next meeting. They will be given a chance to mitigate their cases and the BOC will decide on the penalties accordingly.”
The four, however are free to play on until they appear before the BOC.
“Against the Ba officials, we are only awaiting one or two reports before they will be charged accordingly.”
Six other players who featured in the New Zealand AFC tournament last month have been suspended.
The six are Nadi’s Eliki Ravosai, Lautoka’s Valerio Nawatu, Suva’s Emori Raqata, Labasa Akuila Mateisuva and Nadroga duo Archie Watkins and Luke Rawadamu.
“Unlike the four from the IDC final, these six players have been suspended from play till they appear before the disciplinary committee.”
The head of Football House said a date has not been set for the players’ hearings saying this will be decided by the disciplinary committee.
Also announced today the appointment of Ravin Swamy to replace Anil Sharma as one of Fiji FA’s VPs.
“This is largely because of Anil’s absence from three BOC meetings. As a result we have declared his post vacant and announced the appointment of Swamy who is not new to the football fraternity.
“He was a former president of Suva, spent a stint in Nasinu and was a treasurer for Fiji FA. He was also Fiji’s trade commissioner based in Los Angeles at one time.”
As for Dewan Chand, Patel said that the Northern VP has not exhausted his legal avenues as per the indecent assault charges that have been laid against him and unlike Anil Sharma has only missed two BOC meetings so far.
“So until he misses the next BOC, we cannot declare his post vacant.”
Football House’s BOC also announced changes to the format of two major tournaments as they announced tentative dates and venues for all three tournaments.
Only eight teams will participate in the Vodafone Fiji FACT and Inkk Mobile Battle of Giants tournaments and the eight teams will depend on the National Football League’s standings at cut-off dates that will be announced later.
“The two tournaments will also be played in 90-minute football.”
However, Patel said changes would be made if the councils responsible at the various venues do not meet Football House’s requirements.
“So we still have options to change the venue if we find things are not met by the various councils.”
And on the 2013 NFL, Patel said they will continue with 10 teams, but have decided on three options that districts will decide on to ensure quality competition all around.
A special congress, Patel said would be called in January to re-look at the 8-team NFL format “and we will take it from there.”
• *The 2013 Vodafone Fiji FACT ; First Two rounds – Subrail Park, Labasa: Remainder- Prince Charles Park, Nadi (Dates will be confirmed in due course)
• * The 2013 Inkk Mobile Battle of the Giants - First Two Rounds- Govind Park, Ba-Remainder Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori (Dates will be confirmed in due course)
• *The 2013 Courts Inter District Championship- At the moment Churchill Park in Lautoka has been chosen (Dates will be confirmed in due course)
By Lavenia Vuadreu