- Fiji set to complete construction of their third technical centre early next year
- Facility will open in Labasa, hometown of Pacific superstar Roy Krishna
- Melanesian nation boasts a strong historical association with football
Fiji have long been considered a pioneering nation in the Pacific given their status as the third Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) member to compete in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying, preceded only by Australia and New Zealand.
Heightened development in the region has seen a levelling of the playing field among OFC’s island nations over the past two decades. However, Fiji are seeking to re-establish their former pre-eminence with a concerted focus on grassroots football and associated infrastructure.
A modern technical centre – the nation’s third – is currently being constructed in Labasa. The project even has the backing of local hero Roy Krishna. The Labasa-born Krishna is perhaps the best known player to come out of the Pacific in recent years and was named the Australian A-League’s best player in 2019, before linking with iconic Indian club ATK Mohun Bagan.
The Labasa facility will be the first of its kind in the nation’s Northern Division for any sport. It will supplement existing facilities in Ba and the capital Suva. The technical centre will help alleviate demand for playing space and offer an added option for both local and elite players.
The international standard facility will include will include a kitchen, office, playground, dormitories to accommodate 30 players, technical room, conference hall, changing rooms, a large function space and a floodlight outdoor futsal court. The latter two components will also allow for much-needed revenue generation.
The construction, which is well past the halfway mark, has had to withstand Tropical Cyclone Harold which passed through the region in early 2020, and also the impact of COVID-19.
A significant portion of the academy’s FJD$5.5 million cost is being funded by FIFA, with the facility scheduled to open early next year.
Fiji’s football federation was founded way back in 1938, while the national team first took participated in World Cup qualifying during the Spain 1982 campaign. The Bula Boys displayed their intent for the upcoming Qatar 2022 campaign with the appointment of respected Danish coach Flemming Serritslev earlier this year.