Fiji backs down from Commonweath Games boycott
The Fiji Olympic Committee decides not to boycott the Glasgow Commonwealth Games despite not being able to send teams in netball and rugby sevens.
Fiji will send a team to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, after the country's Olympic Committee backed down from a threat to boycott the event.
It comes days after the Commonwealth Games Federation informed Fiji that its readmission to the Games was too late for it to enter teams in netball and rugby sevens.
Vinnie Wylie reports.
The President of the Fiji Olympic Committee, Reg Sanday, says Wednesday's Annual General Assembly had considered not sending any athletes to Glasgow as a sign of solidarity with netball and rugby teams. But he says everyone agreed that Fiji should move on and participate in the Games.
REG SANDAY: They appreciated the support that was given to them by other sports however they did not want other sports to refrain from attending the Commonwealth Games just on their behalf. The other sports discussed it and they felt that the purpose of our existence really is about promoting sport and honouring sporting excellence. Our attendance at Glasgow would be important so the decision was unanimous that we should take part.
The Rugby Development Manager for Fiji Rugby, Sale Sorovaki, says Fiji would have been a very real medal prospect in Glasgow but admits the decision did not come as a surprise.
SALE SOROVAKI: Four months beforehand we probably would have had a chance to go but it was not to be and we weren't expecting to go anyway but it's probably provided a little bit more motivation for our sevens team this weekend.
The President of Fiji Netball, Wainikiti Bogidrau, says they too have accepted the decision.
WAINIKITI BOGIDRAU: We were naturally very disappointed that we were excluded but we do realise the draws have been completed well before we went into the World Youth Champs last year. But having said that, we are refocusing our efforts to the qualifiers for the World Cup, which will be in June in the Cook Islands, and the other international test matches that we have lined up.
Reg Sanday says because of the late notice, the Fiji government cannot give any financial support to the team's Commonwealth Games delegation.
REG SANDAY: I spoke to the Minister of Sport on Saturday and he says that the government has not budgeted for Fiji's participation in the Commonwealth Games. As you understand following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November, where a decision was made that Fiji should not re-enter the Commonwealth until elections are held in September, the general feeling here in Fiji was that we would not be able to compete so there was no budget made for our participation.
Reg Sanday says the Fiji Olympic Committee is still able to draw on its own funding resources as well as using some of the assistance provided by the Commonwealth Games Federation for travel and preparation.
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