SUVA, ( FIJI TIMES) – Vodafone Fiji futsal team was thrashed 1-9 by Tahiti in the 2016 Oceania Football Confederation Futsal Championship at the Vodafone Arena in Suva Wednesday night.
Fiji was outclassed by Tahiti in most areas as they were too quick and smart for the home side.
Fiji also got a few scoring opportunities, however, the players failed to find the target with poor shots.
Captain Mira Sahib scored the lone goal for Fiji in the second half.
Coach Intiaz Khan said he was proud of his players.
“Personally I am proud of my team today (Wednesday night),” he said.
“We defended well and people have to realise that power play was something new for us.
“We conceded about six goals and it was out of our bound and we will work on this. I am happy with how the game progressed today (Wednesday).”
Fiji will meet New Zealand in their fourth match in the competition on Friday.
Meanwhile, Fiji needs the expertise of an overseas coach to improve the standard of futsal in the country, says Fiji Football Association vice-president and futsal chairman Jainendra Sukhu.
The Vodafone Fiji futsal side displayed poor performances in their first two matches in the 2016 Oceania Football Confederation Futsal Championship going down to New Caledonia 1-5 and then losing to Vanuatu 2-5.
Sukhu said a local coach could also understudy an overseas coach to improve the game in the future.
“I feel we need an overseas coach together with a local coach. The overseas coach should coach the futsal team for four years and then pass on the knowledge to the locals to take it from there,” he said.
“Bringing in an overseas coach would also depend on results and funding as well. I don’t want to talk more on this now but we will give a paper (report) to the board and they will decide.
“We are trying to improve futsal but it will take time.”
National coach Intiaz Khan after the Vanuatu game said the team lacked skills, stamina and had no strategy which he attributed to the team’s downfall earlier in the week.
However, Sukhu said the team had enough time on hand to prepare for the competition.
“We had enough time to prepare for the competition. Everything will depend on the results and report and then the appropriate action would be taken.”
“I think he should not have made those comments although futsal is not very good at the moment. But we are trying to better it.
“Maybe he was under pressure. He made his own statement and I cannot say much on that.”
According to Sukhu Fiji FA had plans in place for improvements.
“I can only say that we are building up a team and trying to participate in the Oceania tournaments. Every year we will also be going to New Zealand to play there and similarly we will also arrange to play with Australia.
“We are trying to develop futsal and in the next three years (time) we should have a better team.
“At present we are concentrating on the tournament.”
The winner of the championship will qualify to play in the Futsal World Cup in Colombia in September.