16 Mar 2012

Sport: Fiji focused ahead of qualifying opener

7:19 am on 16 March 2012

Despite a tough build-up Fiji are keeping positive ahead of their opening match at the Oceania Olympic qualifying football tournament, which begins in Taupo on Friday.

The event was originally meant to be held in Fiji, but was relocated last month after a dispute between Fiji's interim government and Oceania Football.

Fiji's preparations have also been affected by the recent heavy flooding in their homeland.

National Coaching Director, Carlos Buzzetti, says while the team is disappointed at not being able to play in front of their own fans, their focus is on the tournament opener against Solomon Islands.

"There's nothing you can do, you need to accept that and be prepared to play there and give your best when we are there. Everybody's in the same boat except for the hosts New Zealand, to be able to play at home, and I'm sure they will have their own advantage. But I think when the moment comes it's only the ability of the players and the performance to follow instructions of their coaches to perform well on the day."

Also today American Samoa play Vanuatu while in Group B hosts New Zealand take on Papua New Guinea.