Rugby is the ‘national sport’ of Fiji. There are both 7’s and 15’s teams. What is known as Football in the UK is commonly referred to as Soccer here. Understanding the differences in Fiji sporting terms is important.
Rugby in Fiji is often referred to as a religion. The success of the Fiji 7’s team in the HSBC series as well as the Summer Olympics is much celebrated here. We even got a public holiday to welcome the team back from Rio – now that is pretty serious! The 15’s are called the Flying Fijians and are doing very lately.
Going to a rugby game while you are in Fiji is definitely recommended. The atmosphere is electric, even if you don’t know the rules. The crowd is friendly and vocal. This makes watching the spectators almost as much fun as watching the game.
The Flying Fijians are the 15’s team. Now known as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians. You can get a chance to see a match at the June Series Pacific Nations Cup which will be at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Tickets are cheap for an international tournament and you can see teams from Samoa, Georgia and Tonga as well as Fiji.
Also there is Rugby League, locally called Bati. The teams seem to have combined local names (by area) with Australian League team names like Sea Eagles or Panthers etc. Australian Rules (AFL) has also started here.
Soccer / Football
First of all, in Fiji a round ball “football” is called Soccer, like in Australia and New Zealand. Ba is a town on the northern side of Viti Levu (Fiji’s main island), it is known to be the capital of Soccer in Fiji. It even has a giant soccer ball in it’s main street! There are multiple tournaments for Soccer and they are well attended. The supporters will drive through town with their teams flags hanging out the windows and yelling.
With the World Cup happening soon, there are some die-hard fans who need to know timing. Luckily Phillip Hutton has put together the timings in Fiji Time.World Cup 2018 schedule Sheet1
There are going to be some late nights/early mornings in Fiji for the fans.
May the best team win.
Fiji One have published their planned TV schedule: