VFF National League Championship: a weird tournament

The first ever edition of the VFF National League Championship ended on 29 August, but Vanuatu football fans are still trying to understand some important things about this tournament – and this is bringing a lot of anger among fans.

First of all, Group A was contested by five member associations in February: Luganville FA, Malampa FA, Penama FA, Sanma FA and Torba FA – while Malampa Revivors was the sixth team in the group after playing this tournament as guests to help them prepare for the group stage of the 2020 OFC Champions League.

The idea of this tournament is to have the best footballers playing for their respective member associations, but it was a fail. It is crucial to remember that Malampa Revivors is from Luganville which means that Luganville FA did not count on important players for this tournament because they were playing for Malampa Revivors – so it is obvious that they had a big disadvantage in the Group A.

Another thing that intrigued the fans was the fact that Malampa FA also played Group B – alongside Port Vila FA, Shefa FA and Tafea FA – in August, which has caused a stir in the fans. After the tournament it was reported that Malampa FA played Group A as guests – and nobody knew it in February.

The final clash of the tournament was contested between the winners of both groups. Shefa FA advanced to the final after finishing on top of Group B while Sanma FA booked a spot in the final after finishing the Group A in the third position – right after Malampa Revivors and Malampa FA – two teams that should not have played in Group A. Shefa FA were crowned league champions after beating Sanma FA by 3-2 in the final clash.

Many football fans are raising doubts about Vanuatu Football Federation’s credibility – and the federation gives even more reason to generate distrust. While all this is happening, local football suffers.

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