Former national, Ba, Lautoka and now Nadroga rep Osea Vakatalesau, Former Rewa, Ba and Suva striker Kini Madigi, Lautoka’s Valerio Nawatu and Amani Makoe of Rewa will be Fiji Football Association brand ambassadors for “Drug Free Football” campaign.
Vakatalesau, Makoe and Nawatu were suspended since 2018 while Madigi was banned from April last year after testing positive for marijuana.
They have been given the green light to play again after the Fiji FA Board lifted their suspensions.
Fiji FA chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf says very strong representation was made last week on behalf of the players by church elders, NGO’s and community members when they appealed their suspension.
Yusuf says the Fiji FA Board understands that most of the players used to earn a living through football.
“The Board was very much concerned about the livelihood part that now they earn nothing from football but they are earning their living by working in urban areas but now they have moved back to their provinces all those were considered so the Board agreed all the suspension be lifted.”
Yusuf adds the four players will now be championing the fight against drug use in football.
“Not only has the ban been lifted by they will be our brand ambassadors for drug-free football and they will wearing the t-shirts in all our tournaments they’ll be talking to the players of the hardships they suffered while off the football and how they suffered.”
These players will also be tested regularly now after serving about 70% of their suspension.
Nawatu has almost served over two years of his suspension, Vakatalesau 17 months, Madigi 15 months and Makoe about 18 months.