6 Oct 2014

Sport: Virus affects build-up for Samoan football champs

11:42 am on 6 October 2014

Samoan football champions Lupe Ole Soaga are racing against time to have their squad fully fit for Tuesday's Oceania Champions League Preliminary tournament opener.

A virus has struck down their starting goalkeeper and main defender, while other team members were also affected last week.

Team President Taimalelagi Fiti Aimaasu says they also have a player ruled out through injury and admits it hasn't been a great build-up to their opening clash in Apia against Tonga's Lotoha'apai United.

"To be blunt about it we've got some worries at the moment with some of my team members contracting the Chikungunya virus that's being going around in the country. We've got some key players who are obviously of concern to me and the rest of the management, so hopefully trying to hopefully get them in shape for the first game".

Taimalelagi Fiti Aimaasu says the home side will be aiming to play an attacking, positive brand of football.

American Samoa's FC Samoa Korean Baptist Church and Puaikura FC from the Cook Islands will also face off in the first match of the tournament, with the winner to join 11 other clubs for the O-League Group Stage in Fiji in April.