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Fiji Cup set to thrill

Labasa were rewarded with the hosting rights after winning their fourth title last year.
Fiji FA Competitions Manager Amitesh Pal is confident that fans in the northern part of the country will take a keen interest in the first major tournament of the year.
“They are big football followers and we expect to sell out the stands every day because from past experience when we take tournaments to the North, there are a lot of spectators,” Pal says.
“They follow the Labasa team very closely and we expect a lot more fans because the North will have two teams with Labasa and Dreketi.
“That’s more chance for the title to remain in the North.”
Pal says everything is set for kick off on Friday 17 June.
“The ground is prepared, the logistics are in place and the teams are training hard.
“We will take six teams across from Viti Levu and their transportation, accommodation and all their other needs will be taken care of.
“We advise fans to be early at the ground every day because we expect huge turnouts during all three days of competition.”
Labasa will begin their title defence against Nadroga before Rewa face Ba in the other match in Pool A on the opening day of the tournament.
The action in Pool B will pair Suva with Lautoka and Dreketi with Nadi also on Friday.
Following next weekend’s matches the top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals.
Suva will enter the tournament with a strong squad which includes Fiji national team players Setareki Hughes, Rusiate Matarerega and goalkeeper Benaminio Matainaqara.
Despite plenty of quality amongst the visiting teams, Pal believes the defending champions will again be the team to beat, especially on their home turf.
“It is difficult for Viti Levu teams to win in Labasa.
“Most teams will be using their best and most experienced players against them because Labasa is the tournament favourite.”

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