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Fiji launch U-17 league

The league, which was launched last week, will receive over $180,000 from Fiji FA over the next two years.
Fiji FA chief executive officer Bob Kumar said the new competition is an important milestone in the country’s youth development programme.
“We are taking a new step in a new direction.
“U-17 was not an official code until now but we have introduced this with the assistance from the sponsors Vodafone and FIFA,” he said.
“We are ensuring that our young players go in the right direction.”
The competition will include five teams from both the southern and western regions and six from the northern division who will compete in their respective districts.
Equipment worth $6500 were given to all 16 participating teams and Fiji FA technical director Ravinesh Kumar said the association will provide further assistance.

“Apart from equipment the districts will also receive approximately $81,000 cash for training and competition logistics for a year.
“These will include players travelling allowance, coaches’ allowance and medical which will be part of their preparation for the games and other competition logistics like referee payments, meals for the players, venue hire, ball boys and St Johns.
Kumar said the teams will play each other in a home and away format before the top two sides meet in their district’s title decider.
“Winners and runner-up from each district will play a final within their division.
“This is to reduce travelling cost and provide more games for the districts and players,“ he said.
“We were also considering a national final for the top youth teams.
“The elite players from the teams may also play in the U-19 league.”
Meanwhile Vodafone Fiji has also made a firm commitment to support the new competition.
Vodafone Fiji chief marketing officer Rajnesh Prasad, who has handed over a sponsorship worth $50,000, said his company has been partnering with Fiji Football Association to support the development of the game in the country for the past seven years.
“The true reflection of our passion and commitment for the sport can be seen in our bid to firm-up the foundation of football through support to the grassroots level of football in the country, “he said.
“We are proud to be the name behind our football teams.
“Through our financial boost we assist in facilitating the training and development programs for our teams.
“We have witnessed the fruition of our commitment to football with the astounding performance by our U-20 heroes at the FIFA World Cup and the historic qualification by our U-23 stars to book a ticket to the upcoming Rio Olympics.
Fiji FA senior vice president and National League Board chairman Yogeshwar Singh said the association will continue to invest in youth programmes.
“We are very much committed in development of football and we are doing grassroots developments in all districts.
Singh added that Fiji FA has established Development Centres and Centre of Excellence in most of the districts and there are more to open soon.

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