VFF Champions League grand final is postponed; players unhappy with the decision

Recently, Oceania Football Center reported that the VFF Champions League final is set for its grand final match – at first, the decisive encounter between Luganville’s Sia Raga and Port Vila’s Ifira Black Bird was scheduled to be played this Saturday (11th Feb) at the new VFF Freshwater Stadium, but the most important football tournament of the country will need to wait a bit more to know its champion.

But this Friday (10th Feb) – at the eleventh hour – VFF issued a statement postponing the grand final due bad conditions on the surface of the new stadium: “The Local Organising Committee of the VFF Champions League 2023 has decided to postpone the final matches to Tuesday 14 February 2023, due to the impact of the current rainy weather“, said the entity, “VFF General Secretary and Chairman of the LOC Albert Manaroto explains that with the ongoing recovery and maintenance work at the Korman Stadium, and the need to allow Freshwater VFF Stadium to dry up, it is for the best interest for the finalists and football fans that the finals are played on dry football grounds. At the same time Mr. Manaroto says they have approached the Sports Commission, and have understood the explanations from the Commission to give time for preparing the Korman Stadium“, added the Vanuatu Football Federation.

A semifinal match of the tournament played at VFF Freshwater Stadium – VFF Media

Surprisingly, VFF stated the third-place match contest between Arato FC and Wings FC will be played at Korman Stadium – the biggest stadium in Vanuatu – and the final at Freshwater: “Manaroto says the finals will still be played at Korman and at the VFF Stadium at Fresh Water. He says the Third Place final between Aratoro FC of Penama FA and Wings FC of Tafea FA, will be played at Korman Stadium starting at 12pm. And the grand final between Sia Raga FC of LFA and Ifira Black Birds of PVFA, will be played at the Fresh Water VFF Stadium starting at 5pm.

Some players of the participating teams complained about the late change of the tournament organisation: “We were focused to the game, changing the time it is going to affect our focus and preparation“, said one player that is set to play the grand final match. “The pitch at Freshwater is too bad after the rain. It would be certainly better if we play the final at Korman Stadium”, said another key player of one of the finalists – “We did not want the games to be postponed, VFF organisation did not have a Plan B, they did not talk to the teams, they made things by their own“, added the player.

Despite the reactions, no new facts were added to the case as the both matches are now scheduled for the next Tuesday (14th Feb), to be played in separated venues but still in the national capital.


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