The Fiji Football Association Cup Tournament (FACT) 2022 gets underway this weekend as 10 teams from across the country come together with the aim of being crowned champions.
Participating teams have been split into two groups of five, with Labasa FC, Lautoka FC, Nadi FC, Navua FC and Rewa FC in Group A and Ba FC, Nadroga FC, Nasinu FC, Suva FC and Tailevu Naitasiri FC making up Group B.
The FACT begins on Sunday with Tailevu Naitasiri taking on Nasinu to kick things off as the first of four games being hosted at ANZ Stadium in Suva this weekend.
The remaining group games will be held at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka over May 26-29. The winners and runners-up in each group then advance to the semi-finals on Saturday, June 4 with the final on Sunday, June 5, also at Lawaqa Park.
Fiji Football Association (FFA) Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Yusuf was clearly excited for the tournament to get underway but could not offer an opinion on who is best served to claim success.
“The first match for every team in the tournament is very crucial and I am sure all the teams will come out well prepared for the opener,” Yusuf told the FFA website.
“This year we have seen a lot of competition in the Digicel Premier League and it is hard to predict which team will win and that is what makes the tournament interesting.”
The Digicel Premier League hit the halfway stage recently, with each team playing nine games and Suva currently lead the way.
As current table-toppers and the most recent FACT champions, Suva are therefore many people’s favourites. However, Rewa are also unbeaten in the league with a solid defensive unit their main asset.
Free-scoring Ba will have a strong following, last year’s Premier League winners Lautoka are rebuilding momentum and Nadi are hoping their 2020 final loss can push them to victory this time.
Traditional giant-killers Nasinu can never be discounted, Navua will look to their 2003 triumph as inspiration and Nadroga will be hope for home advantage in Sigatoka.
Meanwhile, 2015 winners Labasa are hoping to go under the radar and Tailevu Naitasiri will be looking for some newcomer’s luck as Fiji’s best teams battle it out for this year’s Fiji FACT crown.