The Digicel national futsal side is using the Extra Supermarket Melanesian Futsal Cup 2023 as a platform to improve its ranking in FIFA.
Fiji is currently ranked at 101 in FIFA and Head coach Jerry Sam said Fiji’s aim is to build up for the OFC World Cup Qualifiers in October this year.
“The objective for us is to improve as we prepare for the qualifiers in October which will be a big tournament for us.”
“Our plan was to have two teams but then because of the FIFA sanction, we had to make one team only. To improve Fiji’s ranking at FIFA, it’s a good idea that we can utilise these players within the competition and the more you play will help you within the ranking.”
Sam added initially a 30-member squad was gathered during the trials after the Futsal IDC in February however, it was tough to select the top 15 players.
“We want to find the best players we could and put them together for the qualifiers. This tournament is a really good tournament to try our players and to see how they can blend within the style that I want them to be used in the futsal match.”
“We identified the players through the IDC and during trials, we saw a lot of talent. As a coach, it’s never easy to select the best when all your 30 players sacrifice a lot and give their entire effort. The players we selected were a tough choice and most of them have played for Fiji in the OFC tournament last year.”
“Fiji has quality futsal players, who have the right futsal skills and also the ability to play. In this tournament, we want the selected players to prove their selection and why we should consider them for the qualifiers.”
Fiji opens its campaign against Vanuatu at 4 pm at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala Bay.