Fiji may boycott the Commonwealth Games

BEN STRANG
Last updated 18:26 26/03/2014

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Fiji could boycott the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in support of their rugby sevens team after having their ban from the event lifted two weeks ago.

The lifting allowed Fiji to take part in the Games for the first time since 2006, however, it came too late for country's sevens and netball teams as final fixtures were already drawn for their respective competitions.

The sevens side are Fiji's best hope at winning a medal in Glasgow, having won silver in 1998 and 2002, as well as bronze in 2006.

On their day Fiji are unstoppable, as they showed at the Tokyo Sevens last weekend where they defeated World Series leaders New Zealand and South Africa to lift the tournament trophy.

Reg Sanday, president of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (Fasanoc) said that Fijian sporting bodies were meeting tonight at their annual general assembly to discuss a potential boycott of the Commonwealth Games.

''When Team Fiji walks out into a sporting arena in our national colours we are a united team with our heads held high,'' Sanday said.

''We've always believed in the principle of 'all for one, and one for all.' As Team Fiji, we stand by each other. When one is hurting we all feel the hurt.''

He went on to say that Fiji were questioning the timing of the lift of the ban, and whether allowing the country to compete was a hollow gesture.

The draw for the sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games was made and finalised in January, with Fiji omitted because of their competition ban.

Since then Nigeria has pulled its team out of the tournament, allowing Barbados to take their place as the next best qualifier from a tournament in North America last year.

Unless another team ends up pulling out, Fiji will stay on the sidelines.However before that happens, Fiji may well have their boycott in place.

''This is just like Brazil going to the Olympics without its soccer team, or Jamaica competing without world champion sprinter Usain Bolt and its track athletes,'' Sanday said.

Opposing teams will be pleased they have one less obstacle in Glasgow, but it may well fire the Fijians up this weekend in Hong Kong.

Fiji are two time defending champions at the Hong Kong Sevens and are coming off their Tokyo win in good form.

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