Another veteran at Soccer helm in Fiji

Oceania President David Chung has congratulated Rajesh Patel, who was recently elected as President of the Fiji Football Association (FFA).

It was a landslide for Mr Patel at the 73rd Ordinary Annual Congress held in Suva.

He polled 43 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shailendra Singh (10). Officials representing 23 districts were at the Congress.

Mr Chung said Mr Patel, Director of R C Manubhai & Co, will make valuable contribution to the game.

“His long standing service football and his vast experience in business will hold him in good stead. He is an asset to the Game in Fiji and Oceania,” he said.

Mr Patel served two terms as Vice-President of the Association since 2005. As the Ba Association President and Chairman of the National Youth League, he helped secure sponsorship of the National Soccer League and to develop the talent of the youth in football.

He was also a member of the FIFA Audit Committee since his appointment in 2007.

“I thank the Almighty for getting me elected as the FFA President. I also thank the affiliates for the confidence they have reposed, helping the whole group to be elected,” Mr Patel said.

“The Association will see a new dawn and we will succeed and gain the appreciation of the soccer-loving public. The delegates have the power to take us out if we do not perform,” he added.

The election marked the end of an era for Dr M S Sahu Khan, who had earlier announced that he would not seek re-election after 26 years in the post.

Sheikh Ibrahim and Yogeshwar Singh were re-elected to the post of Vice-President, along with new entrants Tarunesh Reddy (Lautoka) and Jiten Kumar (Nadi).

The new Executive Committee would have the opportunity of organising the OFC qualifying games for the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments in March 2012 and the FIFA 2014 World Cup Stage 2 Qualifying rounds in June.

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