- The new National Women’s National League begins in Fiji this weekend
- The national team reached new heights in France 2019 qualifiers
- The FIFA-backed league will boost the national team in World Cup 2023 qualifiers
When you think of Fiji, you usually see images of sandy, palm-fringed beaches and turquoise blue waters. This tropical paradise can actually be found there. However, the Melanesian island nation also has a surprisingly strong football and sport culture.
Fiji was one of the leading nations in football in the Pacific. The team participated in World Cup qualifiers much earlier than any other peripheral country besides Australia and New Zealand. Unforgettable victory over the powerful Sociros He lives in 1988 on the frog-filled stadium in Prince Charles Park in a club that is in the conscience of sports fans to this day.
And now the groundwork is being laid for another chapter in Fijian football. The first successes are very encouraging. This weekend marked an important milestone in women’s football, as the FIFA-supported Women’s Super League has officially started with six teams. FIFA provides equipment, finance and skill development to coaches. A women’s soccer scholarship was also recently approved.
Intensive activities once again show the positive effects of the previous year’s announcement that FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 ™ It is held in the area. The OFC certainly has a place in the new watershed eventWhich will be held in Australia and New Zealand in the run-up to the finals.
Two years ago, Fiji scored a respectable World Cup qualifying victory when the team reached the continental match against New Zealand. Prior to that, Papua New Guinea had been the leading island nation in the Pacific for so long that Fiji was able to break that supremacy in late 2018.
Looking at next year’s 2023 qualifiers, national coach Marica Rudo is thrilled with the new tournament. “One of the goals is for all teams to practice the philosophy of open play so that the fans can enjoy watching,” Rudo said.
“This gives us the opportunity to identify weaknesses in teams and individual players. Then we pass these results to the coaches. This aims to increase the level of play. Ultimately, the players will evolve and face the challenge in competition, and this will also raise the level of the national team.”
Nazia Ali, a board member of the Fiji Football Association and a participant in the FIFA Women’s Program in Football Leadership, says it is time to gain more momentum two years before the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. “Since the last Women’s World Cup in France,” she said. The world has seen women’s football more positively and we want to use this momentum when the World Cup is held in our region. ” FIFA.com.
“Not only do we have a chance to qualify for the playoffs, but also to win a lot in all other respects when the world turns its sights on the Pacific. As a region compared to Europe and North and South America it has less development in women’s football, let’s hope that with increased media interest, We can inspire more women and girls to participate and attract more sponsors to invest in this sport. “
Ali explains that the Fiji Football Association has just adopted a strategic plan in which the promotion and development of women’s football plays a very important role. “Financial resources are very important to the development of women’s football. We want to see improvements in all areas, in the game, in teams, players, coaches and management,” she said.
“We really achieved a lot since the start in the 1990s. A few years ago we weren’t listed yet and we are now 65th in the women’s world rankings. It’s a very good start for a small country like us. We are very ambitious and want to qualify for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
We hope that as many young girls in Fiji as possible will follow their way to the World Cup and be inspired to become footballers. “
This article is part of our series on women’s and women’s football in soccer for International Women’s Day 2021. To learn more about women’s soccer strategy and FIFA development programs, and to read other articles like this one, click here.
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