13 Oct 2007

Fiji asks New Zealand to reconsider travel bans

9:44 am on 13 October 2007

Fiji's interim administration has called on the New Zealand government to reconsider the way it is imposing travel sanctions.

This follows the decision by soccer's governing body, FIFA, to call off today's World Cup qualifier match between Fiji and New Zealand after New Zealand refused to grant a visa to Fiji's main goalkeeper, Simione Tamanisau.

The permanent secretary at the Fiji Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, says New Zealand's actions are affecting people's daily lives.

Mr Chand says Tamanisau had nothing to do with the military and he has questioned why the New Zealand government refused him a visa because his father-in-law to be has links with the military.

Mr Chand says the interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, would be ready to discuss these issues with his new Zealand counterpart Helen Clark, but this would depend whether she is ready to meet him.

A spokesperson for Ms Clark said this week she does not want to meet Commodore Bainimarama.