Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fiji - Spoil Brat Not Spoil Sports!

www.fijisun.com.fj - 01/12/2009

Fiji's ban from the 2010 Commonwealth Games will not help in finding solutions, says Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office Pio Tikoduadua

The decision was announced in a communiqué at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Tikoduadua said they were disappointed with the news.

"We hope that the Commonwealth will reconsider this decision," he said.

"They should not mix politics with sports. This is not helping in finding solutions to our problems," Mr Tikoduadua added.

Mr Tikoduadua said they had been reliably told that Australia and New Zealand had been lobbying for Fiji to be banned from the sporting event.

The act by the two countries is not good as member countries should make their own decision, he added.

The two countries he said were well aware of the positive developments in the country.

However, they went their way to persuade Commonwealth leaders, to reject Fiji’s bid that was led by Malaysia.

The leaders of the 53 Commonwealth member countries expressed concern at the situation in Fiji with regard to its adherence to fundamental Commonwealth values.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth on September 1 after Government announced that it would hold elections in 2014, and not 2010 as requested by the Commonwealth.

The CHOGM leaders "observed that Commonwealth sporting events represent a significant public demonstration of the unity of the Commonwealth as a family of members with a shared commitment to fundamental values".

"They affirmed that sporting ties under the Commonwealth name are inseparable from the values of the (Commonwealth Games) Association."

Mr Tikoduadua said the decision did not positively contribute to Government's efforts to foster better relations with the Commonwealth.

In another development, Fiji's Commonwealth Games Association is heading to court over its exclusion from the Commonwealth Games.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand the President of Fiji's Commonwealth Games Association, Vidya Lakhan, says CHOGM has a lot to learn.

"And I would suggest that they get into communication with the IOC and learn how sports and politics are separate. Politicians are playing their game, and of course their intention is to deprive athletes of opportunities, and I guess politicians are only good at depriving people of opportunities. Our next step would be to take the Commonwealth Games Federation to the court of arbitration for sport."

Mr Lakhan said three separate legal opinions have said that the Association has a very strong case, and he would be filing papers within the next two weeks.

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