In what comes as a big surprise, Fiji coach Christophe Gamel has stepped down, due to personal reasons.
The Fiji FA confirmed Gamel’s resignation on Wednesday.
His contract will be up at the end of August.
“I enjoyed every moment of my stay here and want to thank Fiji FA, Government of Fiji, sponsors Vodafone, the districts, players, supporters and all Fijians for all the support,” Gamel told the Fiji FA website.
“I have to leave as my son needs me more in France. Family is important for me at this stage of my life but I will continue to help Fiji FA in every way possible,” he said.
The FA says that Gamel proposed to coach the team on a part time basis, but that this was not possible due to the FA’s “arrangement with the Fiji Sports Commission”, as it “does not have any provision for part time coaching.”
“Nevertheless he has agreed to assist us as a liaison officer for Fiji FA and will help us secure matches against teams in Europe and Asia in future,” said Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel.Gamel is proud of his time in Fiji and feels that his time in the country has seen standards lifted across various areas.
Our ranking improved from 189 to 163, our boys and girls teams won bronze medals in the Pacific Games and the girls also created history by reaching the final of the Nations Cup,” Gamel said.
“We tried to lift the standard of the game and get the teams to play more constructive and possession based football and I am happy to see the standard go up and players lifting their game and playing with more passion and good discipline.
“Fiji has some good potential and I will try to market some of our players to clubs in Asia and Europe and will also help Fiji FA by arranging build up games against some big countries.”
Goalkeeping coach Xavier Henneusse, brought in by Gamel, will also leave at the end of the month.
The Fiji Head Coach role will be advertised soon. In the meantime Fiji Women’s Coach Marika Rodu, Sunil Kumar and Lautoka Coach Anginesh Prasad, who are all B-Licensed coaches, will look after the national teams, the FA say.