15 Aug 2008

OFC disappointed over Wellington's silence in Fiji U-12 football team visa case

1:22 pm on 15 August 2008

The General Secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation says he's disappointed that there's been no word from the New Zealand government as to whether an under 12 Fiji football team can transit through Auckland on its way to France.

New Zealand has refused visas for Fiji citizens with military connections since the 2006 military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

However, the New Zealand government has given Commodore Bainimarama a permit to transit through Auckland on his way to next week's Pacific Islands Forum in Niue.

Tai Nicholas says based on that decision, he can't understand why the under 12's have been refused.

"And yet the head of the coup government is allowed access and granted exemption to enter when it's probably against the policy about Fiji citizens coming to New Zealand, really it was just a group of kids going on a trip of a lifetime to Paris and meet Zidane and play football."

The Fiji Under 12 will meet up with teams from 39 other countries for the Danone Nations football tournament which starts on September 1st.