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Navua, Suva, Rewa battle for Fiji FA Super Six

SOUTHERN soccer districts Navua, Suva and Rewa will fight for the Super Six spot in the remaining first round of the New World National Soccer League.

The three teams lie in fifth, sixth and seventh spot respectively. Either of the side depending on the outcome of their matches will join Nadroga, Tavua and Nasinu in the bottom four playoff. From the three fighting to remain with the big boys, Navua was the only team to register a win over the weekend.

The Saiyad Ali-coached side rode on the back of an Esala Ali goal to remain in contention for a super six berth.

Rewa lost to Ba 1-nil and will need to beat Hirequip Lautoka this weekend in their final match to sneak in and hope Navua and Suva who have two matches in hand fail in their remaining matches. Ba cemented its spot in the Oceania Champions League after its win over the Reds. Malakai Tiwa stood the tallest as he nodded home the winner.

Nadi's 4-0 win over Nasinu sees them just a point off second placed Lautoka. A slip by the Blues over Rewa this weekend could see Nadi take up second spot if they do beat Suva at home. National League Board chairman Rajesh Patel said the first round of matches would be completed this weekend.

He said only after this weekend's matches the Super Six and bottom four teams would be decided. Meanwhile, Labasa striker Maciu Dunadamu is now the leading goal scorer with eight goals after scoring twice against Tavua on Friday night.

The former Suva marksman takes over from Lautoka's Sailesh Sami 'Bula' and Joseph Nimariau of Suva. Sami and Nimariau lie in second spot with six goals to their name. Results: Tavua 0-4 Labasa, Nadroga 0-1 Labasa, Nadi 4-0 Nasinu, Suva 0-1 Navua, Rewa 0-1 Ba.

Standings: BA-25 points, Lautoka- 18, Nadi- 17, Labasa- 12, Rewa- 11, Suva- 10, Navua- 10, Nadroga- 3, Tavua- 2, Nasinu- 1. Goal scorers: 8- Maciu Dunadamu (Labasa). 6- Sailesh Sami 'Bula' (Lautoka), Joseph Nimariau (Suva).5- Samuela Kautoga (Lautoka), Alvin Singh (Rewa), Kamal Hassan (Rewa).4- Josaia Bukalidi (Ba), Ronald Lawrence (Ba), Osea Vakatalesau (Ba),Roy Krishna (Labasa), Waisake Sabutu (Nadi) 3- Soromon Seule (Suva), Alvin Avinesh (Lautoka), Uraia Loki (Nadi). 2- Siga Ali (Navua), Abhilash Sharma (Nadroga), Jone Vono Junior(Lautoka),Laisenia Tuba (Ba), Viliame Toma (Nadi), Valerio Nawatu (Navua), Pranil Chand(Navua), Simione Maikali (Navua), Jovilisi Rara (Suva), Netani Momoivalu (Nadi), Keni Doidoi (Ba), Simione Tamanisau (Rewa), Malakai Tiwa (Ba),Apisalome Turuva (Labasa).1- Shameel Rao (Lautoka), Epeli Saukuru (Nadroga), Rocky Prasad(Nasinu), Epeli Dayama (Rewa), Peni Finau (Ba), Joshua Wilson (Lautoka), Meli Codro (Tavua),Netani Momoivalu (Nadi), Keni Doidoi (Ba), Joeli Ranitu (Ba), Laisala Veitaukula (Rewa), Sailosi Livatalo (Nadroga), Marika Madigi (Nadi),Penaia Bale (Labasa- OG), Lorima Dau (Rewa), Ashish Kumar (Nasinu), Walusio Tabuyalewa. (Navua), Bimal Pal (Nasinu), Zaid Suleman (Nasinu), Muele Vuti (Lautoka), Parneet Singh (Lautoka), Ilaitia Makurawa (Lautoka), Arvindra Naidu(Lautoka),Solomoni Natau (Tavua), Dewitt Wilmont (Tavua), Malakai Waqa (Lautoka),Esala Ali (Navua), Sanaila Bera (Labasa), Mahendra Lal (Labasa) Apisai Smith (Suva),Jovilisi Rara(Suva), Benamino Mateinaqara (Nadi), Pita Bolatoga (Labasa), Esala Ali (Navua), Maika Kasami (Nadi).
Unrepaired locomotives anger sugar council
THE Sugar Cane Growers Council is not very happy with the Fiji Sugar Corporation because locomotives have not been properly repaired.

Council chairman Jain Kumar yesterday said that it had received complaints from the cane sectors in all the districts about the locomotives.

“We have received some complaints that the gangs are not getting the rail trucks on time and it seems that the locomotives have not been repaired and maintained as they should have been,” Kumar stressed.

“The council has raised this concern to FSC and we have been assured that this problem will be dealt with and we are expecting things to improve by next week.”

He added that farmers were concerned about these problems especially after they had been assured by FSC that all works would be completed before crushing began.

Meanwhile, Lautoka Mill acting general manager Uday Nand yesterday revealed that since commencing crushing last Thursday the mill crushed 10,329 tonnes of cane until 3pm on Monday.

He added that the mill was crushing 220 to 250 tonnes of cane per hour from Monday and were hoping to maintain the crushing rate in accordance with the rising cane supply.

“When the mill started crushing about 48 percent of the gangs in the Lautoka Mill area were harvesting but at the moment that has increased to about 60 per cent of the gangs are operating,” Nand said.

“We have been assured by the growers’ council that the rest of the gangs will start harvesting as well once the mill has settled so we are expecting the cane supply to increase in the coming weeks.”

He added that although other minor problems could develop they were confident the mill would continue crushing at this rate to match the cane supply.
Two face murder charge
TWO Nausori businessmen have been charged with the murder of businessman Kamlesh Nanda.
They are expected to appear at the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption chief investigator Superintendent of Police Nasir Ali yesterday confirmed that the two men were in police custody.

However, SP Ali refused to give their names but confirmed that the two men had been charged with one count of conspiracy to murder, murder and one count of assessory to murder.

He said that one of the accused was arrested on Thursday while the other was apprehended on Friday.

Furthermore, he said that the arrests were made through the Commission’s investigations into the Immigration Department.

“While these two have been charged, a Lautoka businessman is also in police custody and is being questioned at the moment. We are now looking for a fourth suspect,” SP Ali further revealed.

Kamlesh Nanda, an employee of Raniga Jewellers in Nadi was murdered in front of his house in 2006, returning from work.
Ba crippled against Lautoka
BA will be without five of its key players when they clash in its western derby match against close rivals Lautoka in the New World National Soccer League midweek match at Churchill Park tonight.

The five are Kiniviliame Naika, Josaia Bukalidi, Roneel Kumar, Shalend Lal and Avinesh Waran.

According to President Rishi Kumar, the five players missed the Navua match last weekend and have also been ruled out this week.

"Yes, we will again miss the services of our injured players because they have not fully recovered yet. The busy schedules in the start of the season has taken its toll on the players and they need ample time to recuperate well before getting back into full action again," Kumar said.

Despite the setback, Ba still scored five past Navua which goes to show the talent in the Men in Black armoury.

"Scoring five goals against Navua was an achievement for us but we also missed a host of other chances. Once we pile on the points we tend to keep on scoring and I think that's a good sign."

"Lautoka should be tough and we are looking forward to the match as we are serious about retaining the League title and playing in the O-League (Oceania League) again," the 4R Electric boss said.

Ba will bank on players like, Peni Finau, Malakai Tiwa, Jone Vesikula, Robert Wise, and Fiji U20 rep Rinal Prasad to take on the Blues challenge away from home.

Meanwhile, Lautoka will be hoping to maintain its winning streak in the third round of the league.

The Dennis Singh coached side has beaten Nadi and Suva to lead the NWNSL with six points.

The side is expected to start with players like Nicholaus Lawrence, Taniela Waqa, Samu Kautoga, Malakai Waqa, Joshua Wilson, Sailesh Sami 'Bula' and Alvin Avinesh. The match kicks off at 7pm and will be controlled by Nadi referee Dinesh Chand.

In other midweek matches tonight Nadi meets Nadroga at home while Suva faces Rewa at the Post Fiji Stadium.

The Coral Coast side will travel to the Jetset town with their tails up after recording its first win over Nasinu last weekend. All matches kick off at 7pm.
Fiji FA to unveil new League sponsor
911 Call
Nadi wary of physical approach
NADI Soccer Association president Jitendra Kumar says the Jetset Town team will be a well-oiled aeroplane screaming down the runaways of Govind Park in Ba this weekend to land the Fiji Bitter FACT $10,000 main prizemoney.

Kumar says the green machine of western division soccer is on fire to fly over oppositions in the first major tournament of the year sanctioned by the Fiji Football Association.

“Preparations are going according to plan. The team is in high spirits and we expect a good tournament despite our young outfit,” he added.

The Nadi-businessman says his team is on a high after the launching of their website last week and overwhelming public support.

“We salute the support of the business community and soccer fans. The team is ready because they know that they are cared for by their supporters. This will help them play and win in the tournament.”

Nadi has been struck with a winless streak on the coveted Fiji Bitter FACT Trophy for the last decade.

Their last grasp at the title was at home in 1996 when they thrashed neighbours Lautoka 4-0.

They had been luckless since then, dropping out in the final as runner up in 1998 against Ba (0-3) at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.

Kumar says they are a new look team with a new style of soccer and new approach to the annual tourney.

Nadi will face Northerners Labasa, Suva, Navua, and Nadroga in the four-day-event.
And Southerner, Gurjeet Singh formerly of Nasinu soccer has been tasked to lead the green machine because Kumar claims that Nadi does not have good soccer coaches who could upset western giants like Ba in the FACT.

“We hired Gurjeet Singh because he has the technicality and the know how of coaching a soccer team.”

“He is qualified and that is what we also lack here in the west, especially in Nadi and Nadroga.”

“There is a lack of good soccer coaches. Western soccer teams are known for their physical soccer approach and we need someone like Singh who has the tactical coaching method that could score wins,” he added.

Singh was hired by Nadi after his return from the United States.

Nadi fixtures; Thursday 3/5: 6.15pm vs Navua. Fri 4/5: 12 noon vs Nadroga. Sat 5/5: 12 noon: vs Labasa, 5.45pm vs Suva.
Nadi soccer team: Beniamino Mateinaqaqa, Maika Kasami, Ashneel Pratap, Monald M Singh, Kamlesh Krishna, Waisake Sabutu, Michael Maharaj, Ravikesh Narayan, Thomas Robert, Nelvish J Kumar, Rajnesh Prasad, Josefa Tabusau, Marika Madigi, Ponipate Naulu, Peniasi Vakasaukuru, Netani Momoivalu, Vuniyani, Tevita Cokocokovata, Lawrence Gounder, Uraia Loki, Zuber Kaiyum, Jainesh Prasad.
THE Interim Government wants overseas countries to better understand the local situation and help in genuinely taking the country forward, Prime Minister’s Office Permanent Secretary, Parmesh Chand said yesterday.

This would involve regular meetings between foreign diplomats working in the country and members of the interim administration.

And the first step was taken yesterday when members of the diplomatic corps were briefed at a special briefing in Suva.

Chand said that the Interim Government considers it vital to keep Foreign Diplomats fully briefed on the Fiji situation and the progress they are making in taking the country forward.

The briefing was jointly organised by the PM’s Office, Foreign Affairs and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

Chand said that a lot of positive developments are taking place in terms of the Interim Government’s desire to engage with bilateral partners and the international community.

“We are actively participating in the Pacific Islands Forum/Fiji Joint Working Group which has been formed as an outcome of the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting on the Eminent Persons Group Report,” Chand said.

He said that there is also the high-powered ministerial delegation currently in Brussels meeting with the European Union (EU) as required under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.

However, he said on the domestic front, there is withdrawal of the military personnel from the checkpoints and of course, relaxation of restrictions.

Chand said yesterday’s meeting was held to “firstly, inform of the progress we are making in bringing about normalcy and the work being done on the Roadmap to Parliamentary Democracy”.

“Secondly, we wanted to seek the views of our bilateral partners and international community on progress being made and what further developments that they would like to see for meaningful engagement.

“And thirdly, to seek the understanding of the rather unique and complex Fiji situation and that the Interim Government is fully committed to working together with them in putting together the framework for good governance and genuine parliamentary democracy,” Chand said.

He said the response to the briefing was positive and that there would be regular sessions like this held on a progressive basis.
Fiji imports hit $3000m
PROVISIONAL data as at February 16, 2007 released by the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics shows Fiji’s imports for 2006 was $3119.9 million. Domestic exports for last year were $807.9 m and total exports were $1175.2 m. Compared to 2005, imports increased by $397.1 m (14.6 per cent), domestic exports decreased by $33.9m (4 per cent) whilst re-exports increased by $22.3 m.

According to the bureau the increase in imports was due to the increased imports of mineral fuel as well as the higher price paid for importing. Government Statistician, Tevita Bainimarama said since a significant amount of mineral fuel was re-exported to the neighboring Pacific Islands, visiting ships and aircrafts, the re-export for 2005 also showed an increase.

“The decline in domestic exports is driven by a decline in the exports of garments, sugar and gold.” He added the significant decrease in domestic exports led total exports to decrease by $11.6 m (1 per cent).

The trade deficit for 2006 amounted for $1,944.7 m. For the year 2006 major sources of Fiji’s imports were from Singapore, up $261.7m (32.2 per cent) to $1074.5 m due to increased imports of mineral fuels.

Imports from Australia went up $30.3 m (4.5 per cent) to $698.7 m due to increased imports of wheat and meslin, sugar confectionery, liquefied butanes, medicaments, Kraft liner, copper bars, fabric and apparatus.

New Zealand imports went up $5.9m (1.2 per cent) to $496.3 m due to increased imports of frozen ducks, sardines, dairy spreads, onions and shelled birds’ eggs. Imports from China-People’s Republic up $30.5 m(37.1 per cent) to $112.7 m due to increased imports of tiles, cubes and similar articles ,metals and articles thereof, vehicles and machinery. Japan went down $3.7m (3.2m) to $111.5m due to decreased imports of used and new vehicles.

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