Oceania Football no longer a minnow

Fiji Football President Rajesh Patel says the extra qualifying spots awarded to Oceania teams at the Under 17 and Under 20 World Cups is a reward for strong performances on the global stage.

Oceania will now receive two berths at men's age grade tournaments from 2017.

The region created history at this year's Men's Under 20 World Cup with hosts New Zealand reaching the quarter finals and Fiji upsetting Honduras in the group stage.

Rajesh Patel says Oceania officials have been trying to secure an extra berth for a long time and he says Fiji's impressive World Cup showing proved the region is no longer a minnow.

"When I was there too and I met a lot of FIFA officials and all the other member associations from all over the world. They said they never reckoned that the Island nations and Oceania members, New Zealand and especially Fiji, will be this powerful. I think we have proven to the world and that is something that we will strive to grow on and not be complacent about it, and look forward positively".

Rajesh Patel says the move is a good sign for all the 11 Oceania nations and the development at youth level.