17 Jul 2017

Sport: Fiji football international dies

3:31 pm on 17 July 2017

The Oceania football community is mourning after Fiji Under 19 goalkeeper Francine Lockington died in Lautoka yesterday.

Lockington was due to travel to New Zealand with her teammates to participate in the OFC Under 19 Women's Football Championship but withdrew shortly before the team departed Fiji due to illness.

She picked up the Golden Glove award at the OFC under 17 Women's Championship in 2016 and also won the Fiji FA Women's Footballer of the Year.

Francine Lockington (in red) with her U-17 Fiji teammates in 2016.

Francine Lockington (in red) with her U-17 Fiji teammates in 2016. Photo: Oceania Football

Chief executive of the Fiji Football Association Mohammed Yusef said it was a sad day for Fiji as it lost a player with a very bright future.

"The president and all executives are shocked by the news of the passing away of Francine and we send our deepest sympathies and condolences to her grieving family," he said.

"Fiji FA and all women footballers and executives will surely miss this young woman who was passionate and committed and had so much to offer to the sport."

Oceania Football Confederation president David Chung said his thoughts and prayers went out to the family.

"To lose a family member is never easy and to lose someone with their whole life ahead of them is devastating," he said.

"As a father myself I can only imagine what Francine's family are going through. I truly hope our prayers can provide a little comfort for them during this time."

A moment's silence will be observed before today's Under 19 Women's Championship match between Samoa and Fiji in Auckland.