August 27, 2016
They maybe siblings and best of friends off the field but brothers Anish Khem and Ashnil Raju are no less than competitive warriors on the football pitch.
The Dreketi born and raised brothers for the first time faced off against each other as Nadi took on the newcomers to Battle Of Giants at Ratu Cakobau Park today.
And there was no love lost between the two and on some occasions they had to mark each other and this saw the few that actually know them burst out in cheers and support for the humble and ambitious young men.
Anish, the elder of the two who also celebrated his 23rd birthday today told FijiLive that it was a proud moment for him to play against his brother but added there was no such sort of brotherhood in soccer.
“When you play real soccer there is no brother business, you're only playing for your district or your team,” he said.
His 20-year-old brother Raju has similar views.
“Today it was brother against brother, we don’t have to see brothers or anything in Soccer,” said Raju.
They both added that since childhood they had been playing together and had various wins as a result.
They also mentioned that if a chance was to be given, they would love to play with each other in the same team.
“Maybe if we get a chance, we can play together, so that we can combine well for the benefit of our team,” said Raju to which Khem agreed.
Both brothers started from humble beginnings and have represented the country at different age group levels.
Ashnil made his family proud by making the Fiji U20 team which qualified for the first FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand last year while Anish has just returned from Rio de Janeiro after representing Fiji at the football competition in the 2016 Olympics.
Anish made his debut as a 17-year-old for Labasa n 2011 and was part of the Babasiga Lions IDC winning squad and went on to represent Dreketi, Nadroga and Nadi while Ashnil has featured for Labasa and Dreketi.
By Sonal Shivangani