Dear Editor,

Thank you for giving me space in your paper.

Before I start, I would like to thank the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) for organizing the VFF Champions League currently underway in Luganville.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the following teams Patvuti, Fanla, Eraniau Eliau Egis and Nere for their outstanding performance without borrowing players from the clubs in the Port Vila Football league.

Those four teams did not make it past the group stage, but I would like to give them credit for playing bravely with a lot of determination using their own players, similar to Galaxy and Malampa Revivers.

I would also like to suggest that in future VFF, stop clubs using players from other clubs in the Port Vila league because this does nothing in terms of the development of football in Vanuatu.

A Port Vila based player will only be with the team they temporarily join for these tournaments as they will return to their Port Vila based teams after the tournament ends.

These tournaments are an opportunity for players all around Vanuatu to face competitive opposition from Port Vila and Luganville. How can they do that when Port Vila based players, whose clubs did not qualify go and ruin the opportunity for them? These tournaments are for the member association champion clubs not for a bunch of Port Vila based players to showcase themselves.

VFF should be more concerned of making area leagues more competitive, if these clubs want good players, they should keep these for a whole season while they play in their respective leagues, that way these players can bond well with the other players and not only make the team stronger but make the whole league more competitive in standard. Similar to what Amical did in Port Vila when it brought in foreign players.

Chelsea used their own players to win the UEFA champions league and did not borrow players from other teams just for the champions league.

A Way Forward

If VFF wants to make the standard of football around the whole of Vanuatu go up, why not have a proper national league played over a regular season instead of a once a year tournament? That way all the champions of other member associations can have regular fixtures against teams like Galaxy and therefore get better.

Having a national league where member association champions have regular matches against each other will also create an elite level of football in Vanuatu, that way it would make sense for non-Port Vila clubs to transfer players from the Port Vila league to be part of them over a proper season.

The current VFF champions league could then be used as a qualifying tournament to promote 2 teams into the national league to replace the 2 relegated teams.

By going this way, I really believe, football as a whole will really develop all over Vanuatu as everyone will get exposure.

It may be expensive but everything costs money. I believe if VFF has a good, and transparent plan and structure set out, I am sure a lot of big businesses would be interested to sponsor.

VFF could follow a similar system as the United States Soccer Federation runs their top league, the Major League Soccer which has 27 clubs playing in two conferences [east and west] based on geographical locations.

The league owns the clubs but then contracts them out to businesses to run them as investor/operators.

I am sorry if any of my comments have offended anyone but I would like to see football grow in Vanuatu as I enjoy watching the beautiful game and want to see us move to the next level.

Football Lover

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