A FORMER Suva soccer star has revealed that money, import players and lack of club games was ruining soccer in Fiji.
Striker Jone Ratu was Suva's IDC hero in 1981 where his double helped the side edge Ba 2-1 at the National Stadium.
He was also striker of the 1983 team that won Suva's last IDC title.
Ratu yesterday praised Ba for sticking to local players.
"Ba has proved the point and is a good example for other teams," he said.
"Ba has its own players. Only other districts are going for Ba players. If you take away one Ba player, there are two more waiting to take that place."
Ratu said though Fiji soccer was yet to turn professional, it seemed the game was all about money now.
"We played the game because we loved soccer," he said.
"Now I read the papers about players having $10,000 release fees."
He said Suva needed to get a strong club competition going to instill the winning culture in players.
"There has to be more emphasis on winning club matches first. Suva has stopped developing players and officials are bringing players from overseas to win tomorrow's matches.
It doesn't work that way.
"I think the officials are changing too often. Also Suva coach keeps changing every year.
"The Suva team that won in 1981 stayed together until 1983. Even the Ba team that time was the same. Nowadays players keep changing teams and there's hardly any consistency in the teams."
The Suva team in the early 80s had players like goalkeeper Akuila Ravono, Tony Kabakoro, Pompey Ismail, Aisea Mocelutu, Hirdesh Prasad, Tevita Bukalidi, Sarwan Singh and sweeper late Tevita Nadumu, who was the long throw specialist in the late 70s and early 80s, along with Nadi's Peter Dean.
Ratu said the decision to recruit seven players from New Zealand was justified because Suva did not perform well this year.
"To be fair and frank, looking at Suva's performance, its best that they bring players.
"Suva is not a consistent side and the officials know they can't rely on the players," he said.