Fiji opts out | Yusuf, Mazey at odds over MSG Prime Minister’s Cup funding
29 September, 2023, 12:10 pm
The Fiji Football Association will not take part in this year’s Melanesian Spearhead Group Prime Minister’s Cup in New Caledonia next month.
When asked yesterday, Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf said the association had applied for funding from the Fiji National Sports Commission to take a team but did not get support.
“We have been told by FNSC that they will not be able to support us. The Melanesian Cup (now known as the MSG Prime Minister’s Cup), is something the government of the participating nations organise but we, the two parties, (Fiji FA and FNSC) have come to an agreement that we will not take part this year,” said Yusuf.
In response, FNSC executive chair Peter Mazey said, the request for funding came in a few weeks ago.
“The government has already allocated all its fundings for this financial year, so we have not been able to assist them,” said Mazey.
The FNSC head added Fiji FA had requested to send a development team to New Caledonia and the national commission prioritises senior national teams.
“Generally, we do not assist development squads in any sports as we principally use the fundings in national teams,” Mazey added.
The 2023 MSG Prime Minister’s Cup will be held from October 8-15 while the Inter District Championship in Fiji will be held from October 10-15.
The national side is ranked 170 in the world with one Cook Islands ranked below us in Oceania.
After the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia Samoa, the national senior side has featured in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and the MSG Prime Minister’s Cup last year.
Apart from the two tournaments, Fiji played one friendly against Vanuatu in the lead-up to the World Cup Qualifiers.
Fiji also played matches against Solomon Islands (0-2) and Vanuatu (1-2) this year, losing both.