Australia-based Mustafa Mohammed withdraw from Fiji U-20 squad

Fiji has lost a very good prospect for the upcoming U-20 World Cup; the Australia-based player Mustafa Mohammed, currently linked to Brisbane Roar youth rankings – club which its senior squad players in A-League – has decided not to take part of the national team anymore. The player was called-up by Ronil Lal to the U-19 OFC Championship last year in Tahiti, where Fiji got a spot at U-20 World Cup; Mustafa also was in the squad in the three international friendly matches played in Indonesia last February.

To put things into perspective, Mustafa since joining the team last year from trials to the tour of New Zealand, to OFC qualifiers and to the Indonesia trip fell on the outer with the management and till date Fiii Football has not been able to provide an explanation on why he was treated the way he was“, said Ifraz Mohammed, Mustafa’s father – “For all the effort and talent of being coming out of a reputable A-League academy to travel and being away from home in Fiji and not getting deserved game time over multiple games only knocked his confidence and desire to be part of the team any more. Mustafa after returning from Indonesia made the decision to return back home on what has been a very negative experience for such a fine prospect for the Fiji National U-20 team. Fiji FA needs to have a review on his treatment by the coach and management and a formal explanation provided to him and his family“, added Ifraz Mohammed.

In interview Mustafa himself said the head coach Ronil Lal had an “excessive prefential treatment” to some players over others, as Mustafa mentioned Lal has strong links with certain players and he was not selecting the squad due the performance and quality of the players. “I am really really glad everyone gets to know the truth about Fiji Football; in my opinion the Argentinean coach was not the problem, it was RonIl playing favouritism from day one since Mustafa Mohammed playing at A-League level academy being benched literally in all games“, said another family member of Mustafa Mohammed.

Mustafa Mohammed – Fiji FA Media

Mustafa’s father, Ifraz, even tried to connect to Fiji FA’s CEO regarding the situation on his son; the CEO, Mohammed Yusuf, in a social media post reply on his father claims mentioned the coach has the final say on the starting 11.

Yusuf stated in interview to local media that the decision on leaving the squad was totally on Mustafa; he also agreed the reason that made the player to withdraw was that he was not fielded in the matches in Indonesia. Although, as mentioned before, Yusuf said the deicison to select a player for a match or not is totally on the team coach and staff.

Certainly, for the background and the grassroots process Mustafa had been into, he would be definitely an interesting addition to the Fijian team for the upcoming U-20 World Cup. Unfortunately, after all this problematic situation the Fijian football loses a potential international player with overseas experience – something rare for the South Pacific national teams.


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