Letters to the Editor | Sunday, September 17, 2023

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FIJI Water Flying Fijians during a training session in France. Picture: FIJI RUGBY

Switch positions

CAN the Flying Fijians consider the following players to switch positions to look at another deadly combination and also keep the opposition guessing?

Frank Lomani for first five-eighth, Peni Matawalu at half back, Iosefo Masi at full back, Josua Tuisova at second five-eighth and Ikanavere to start at hooker, Vili Mata at locks and scavenger Botia to start at flanker.

I am sure it will leave any opposition guessing and totally confused.

We simply need to play different against all teams and create the impossible … joka dina, vacava tacina.


History beckons Flying Fijians

AFTER missing the opportunity to go into history books last Monday, the FIJI Water Flying Fijians have the golden opportunity to write a piece of history by becoming the first Fijian 15s team to defeat the Wallabies in a RWC match.

Fiji has played the Wallabies on three occasions at a RWC tournament – 2007, 2015 and 2019, and we have lost all three matches.

Apart from the 55-12 thrashing in 2007, the Flying Fijians went down to the Wallabies 28-13 and 39-21, respectively, in tough and fierce encounters.

Hence, beating them on Monday morning will be a mammoth task.

The Wallabies outplayed The Lelos (Georgia 35-15) in their RWC opener and the likes of Ben Donaldson, Will Skelton, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rob Valetini, Taniela Tupou, Will Skelton and Tate McDermott, stood out with a sublime performance.

We went into the Wales battle as favourites and it came to haunt us.

Monday’s battle will be a mountain climb for the Flying Fijians, but then in 80 minutes of fast paced and exciting rugby, an upset could be on its way.

We must convert penalties into points just as the Europe-based teams are doing.

Defence must be steady.

The Dragons made almost three times the number of tackles our boys made but then that’s the beauty of rugby.

Attack results in tries, but defence wins games.

This battle is the final for our boys.

We must win the battle to stand a chance of qualifying for the quarters!

It’s now or never for Fiji.

A win, and history beckons the Flying Fijians!

A loss, and we find our way out of the pool!


Fiji versus Wallabies

THE Flying Fijians have a very good chance of defeating the Wallabies on Monday morning.

Australia hasn’t had a very good record in the past 12 months.

But please refrain from blaming the referee or blaming anyone else for that matter.

Isn’t it passé that when you lose, the referee is to blame but when you win, all the glory is yours.

How many boring blamers are there resident in this column or in the whole of Fiji for that matter?

JAN NISSAR, Sydney, Australia

Looking after themselves

KOSITATINO Tikomaibolatagane (FT 16/9) writes: “I totally agree with Fiji Public Service Association general secretary Judith Kotobalavu that the $10,000 allowance (to MPs) is an outrageous act” (FT14/9).

When the Government proposed that each MP receive $10,000 annually as parliamentary duty allowance, on top of their normal salaries and benefits which was approved by Parliament, I began to wonder whether our parliamentarians really care about us Fijians or not.

I recall reading in The Guardian (1/10/22) the following: “The notion that politicians of all shades look after themselves better than they do the public will be difficult to counter”.

That’s the perception this allowance to MPs in Fiji has generated.

And it’s understandable given the struggle so many ordinary Fijians face in making ends meet.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Increase in crime

I BELIEVE crime is escalating alarmingly in a small country like ours.

There are break-ins even in homes with guard dogs and CCTV footage.

Loot, injure, kill … it doesn’t matter!

Why is this increasing?

We have an “ideal” educated society.

Has education failed?

We have an “ideal” religious society.

Has religion failed?

Our jails are apparently full of people from devout religious and moral backgrounds!

We have an “ideal” moral society.

Has morality failed?

We have an “ideal” compassionate and tolerant society.

Have virtues failed?

It all begins in the home, from our elders, they say.

Have our ancestors failed?

Were they thieves and had no respect for other humans?

Sadly, when one looks at the uncontrolled litter of human society around us, we fall short of all that is preached on the goodness of our eternal souls that are supposed to go to heaven.

But maybe, just maybe, the Father will forgive them too, for they do not know what they do.

PUSHPA WATI, Pacific Harbour

eBay scam

I BELIEVE it was illegal and a scam from the beginning.

Majority of the people in Fiji who have internet access read about it but greed lured those who were victimised into the scam trap.

I wonder who the police should investigate.

Perhaps they should start with all those engaged in the scam for participating in an illegal activity.

MALAKAI NADUVA, Malau Rd, Labasa

Fixing Fiji football

WRITING on Vanuatu’s 9-nil trouncing by New Zealand, a Ni-Vanuatu football fan said the president of Port Vila Football Association Harry Atisson’s assessment is “not only refreshingly honest but also spot-on in addressing the root causes of the defeat” (Vanuatu Daily Post 14/9).

He continued, “It is disheartening to see social media filled with criticism and blame directed at the young players who represented Vanuatu in the tournament.

“Mr Atisson rightly points out that the fault lies not with the boys but with the Vanuatu Football Federation and its lack of adequate planning and preparation. It is imperative that we refrain from shaming the players and instead focus on the systemic issues that need to be addressed”.

Fiji was also at the receiving end of a 9-nil hiding from New Zealand at the same tournament.

Fiji also needs to address the systemic issues that afflict Fiji soccer.

Many more people better acquainted with Fiji soccer today have highlighted the big picture problem plaguing Fiji soccer.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Soccer setback

DESPITE a credible performance by the Fiji under-23 football side in pool play against the NZ under-23 during the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in Auckland, (3-1) loss, when it mattered most, the side was comprehensively beaten 9-0 to the extent of a player being red carded and an own goal by Inoke Turagalailai.

I do not blame the players but Fiji FA for not playing friendly matches as the Oly Whites did prior to the qualifier.

Continuously bringing expatriate coaches for the Bula Boys and Kula Girls is still not giving the desired results.

They enjoy hefty salaries and perks, never to be matched by any of our local coaches.

What do you have to say Fiji Sports Commission?

The difference is very clear between Fiji rugby and Fiji football in terms of performance and world rankings.

To the die hard football fans, losses hardly matter to the thick skinned Fiji FA officials as big dollars keep pouring in from FIFA.

Fiji FA is quickly on the move to promote the local BOG tournament to boost its coffers.

Personally, I keep blaming the majority district delegates for continuously voting them in.

Finance nor the Sports Minister have any say to interfere in the affairs of Fiji FA.

Sorry to fellow Letters to the Editor writer Selwa Nandan that I am still waiting for a response from Rajesh Patel in regards to the football debate.

Maybe CEO Mohammed Yusuf can be his alternative replacement to take me on.

On a positive note for Fiji FA, the 2026 World Cup will see 48 teams from 32 and a direct entry to the World Cup from the Oceania winner.

What more do you want?

Finally, the 9-nil drubbing saw Fiji FA giving $9000.00-plus to WOWS Kids Fiji but coming from the soccer fans who purchased tickets during Fiji FACT.

RAYMOND SINGH, Former LFA president, Lautoka

Reliable kicker

RUGBY history has taught us the importance of a good, accurate and reliable kicker in a team. John Wilkinson won the Rugby World Cup for England by his accurate kicking.

Again this was showcased by England in this 2023 Rugby World Cup when they soundly beat Argentina by the boot of George Ford.

Fiji beat England by the boot of young Caleb Muntz who contributed 15 points through his 100 per cent kicking.

I believe the coaching staff should find a good kicker in the absence of Muntz.

Valetini showed his worth with Fijian Drua winning some games for the Drua by his boots.

Fiji is playing the Wallabies in their next game without a good kicker.

We all support our Fijian heroes in their next game against the Wallabies but when important issues such as this are overlooked, it will leave us in doubt because a good boot can be a matter of winning or losing a game.


Online scams

MY heart goes out to those who have suffered “losses” over recent online scams.

Despite the warnings issued by regulators against getting involved, fellow Fijians still tried their “luck”.

Unfortunately now they’re trying to recover their “losses”.

A scripture comes to mind: 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

My prayer is they learn from this and work hard to gain honest rewards, with lots of patience. I also encourage them to learn what is true wealth: 1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain”.

God bless!


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