New Zealand won’t relax sanctions for World Cup

New Zealand Prime Minster, John Key and Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully both have said  that New Zealand had no intention of using the World Cup as an excuse to relax sanctions which it has applied against Fiji since a 2006 military coup.

  • Vidya Lakhan president of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASNOC), said the ban amounted to political interference in team selection and should be unacceptable to the International Rugby Board (IRB). “If Fiji cannot send its best team to take part in the World Cup then we should consider boycotting the World Cup,” Lakhan said in a Press Conference on Tuesday.
  • Fiji Rugby Union CEO Keni Dakuidreketi has dismissed talk of a boycott saying the Olympic committee had not consulted with them. “We were annoyed with that sort of unsolicited statement coming from an organisation that has nothing to do with our World Cup preparation,” he told Radio New Zealand International.
  • Former FRU chairman Bill Gavoka says a boycott could backfire with Fiji sidelined like South Africa was in the apartheid era. “The idea of boycotting the world cup is quite silly,” he told the Fiji Times, adding it would “only invite derision and get us nowhere”.
  • IRB chief executive Mike Miller holds out hope that some diplomacy will see the issue resolved before September. ‘If people can talk quietly behind the scenes then often things which some people think can’t be resolved, can be resolved.’ Miller said. ‘But talking about it in public really doesn’t help. ‘I am confident that Fiji will come to Rugby World Cup, I am confident that all the matches will take place in New Zealand, and I am confident that Fiji will acquit themselves very well. They’ve been playing very well and they will have a very good team in New Zealand.’


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    News category: Asia Pacific.

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