28 Sep 2009

Commonwealth Games ban on Fiji 'likely'

9:07 am on 28 September 2009

The head of the Commonwealth Games Federation says precedent makes it likely Fiji will be banned from competing in the 2010 Games in New Delhi.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth on 1 September and from the Pacific Forum on 1 May.

At a meeting in New York on Saturday, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group called for Fiji to be barred from the Games unless it commits to holding an election before 2014.

Games federation chief executive Michael Hooper says Nigeria was not allowed to compete in 1998 while excluded from the Commonwealth, and says that suggests Fiji's likely to be banned too.

However he told Morning Report there is lots of sympathy for sportspeople in Fiji and its inclusion is up for debate.

The federation's executive board will make a recommendation at a meeting in Delhi in October, which will then go before the general assembly for a decision.

Sadness at prospect

A former manager of the Fiji netball team says it will be a sad day for Fiji's sporting teams if they are prevented from participating at the New Delhi Games.

Asenaca Waqanivavalagi took the Fiji netball team to the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006. She says missing the Games will be a set-back for the development of sports in Fiji.