Fiji sports chief cautions NZ over travel ban
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- The president of Fiji's National Olympic Committee says New Zealand might be in breach of the Olympic charter if it bans Fijian players from the Rugby World Cup on political grounds.
Vidya Lakhan said he had written to the International Rugby Board urging it to "put its foot down" over the New Zealand government's plan to impose travel bans against Fiji players with military links.
Lakhan said rugby had now been accepted as an Olympic sport -- rugby sevens will be part of the games from 2016 -- and was subject to the Olympic charter that rejects political interference in sport.
New Zealand has imposed travel sanctions against members of the Fiji military and their relatives since a military-led coup in 2006.