Fiji’s FIFA World Cup™ history dates back to 1981, with their most famous scalp undoubtedly a 1-0 home win over Australia in 1988. For a while Fiji were by far the most successful of all the Pacific Island nations. Fiji were the only team globally to beat New Zealand in the All Whites' famed South Africa 2010 campaign. In Brazil 2014 qualifiers Fiji were narrowly defeated by New Zealand, before tight draws against Papua New Guinea and Round Two hosts Solomon Islands meant elimination. Strong showings at continental youth level, coupled with an appearance at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup – their first-ever global tournament – should see a host of youngsters pushing for senior national team selection.
Though Fiji didn’t take the field at senior level for several years after the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, their growth at youth level suggests the nation’s football is on an upward trajectory. In Roy Krishna the team have arguably the most high profile Pacific Islands star, with the striker carving a successful career in Australia’s A-League.
Uruguayan-born mentor Carlos Buzzetti is arguably the most experienced coach in Oceania. Buzzetti has coached in the region since arriving in Australia during the 1970s, and initially made his mark in the Pacific Islands by taking Vanuatu to the brink of Word Cup qualification at youth level on several occasions. His success as Technical Director and in managing the production line at the National Academy is borne out by Fiji’s qualification for the 2015 U-20 World Cup.
10 – Russia 2018 marks Fiji’s tenth World Cup campaign, more than any other Oceania nation aside from New Zealand and former OFC member Australia.
The former stars
Esala Masi, Manoa Masi, Ratu Veresa Toma