Pacific Games | SPORTS

Why Aust, NZ Now In Pacific Games

Australia and New Zealand’s participation in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea will be on a trial basis. This was revealed yesterday by Pacific Games Council president Vidhya Lakhan
27 Apr 2015 09:23
Why Aust, NZ Now In Pacific Games

Australia and New Zealand’s participation in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea will be on a trial basis.

This was revealed yesterday by Pacific Games Council president Vidhya Lakhan at the first day of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) media workshop.

Lakhan said the Oceania region’s continental games are not recognised by international federations because Australia and New Zealand are not allowed to take part.

“International federations now are looking for continental qualifications,” he said.

“All the continents in the five Olympic rings, except for Europe, have their continental games.

“We in the Pacific region have had our continental games since 1963 but it is not recognised because two countries in the Oceania region (Australia and New Zealand) are not allowed to take part. If international federations ask or require continental qualifications and if there are no continental games in the Oceania region, then what will happen in the future?”

With the Pacific Games in PNG just two months away, Lakhan said Australia and New Zealand would take part in four sports.

“The four sports, rugby sevens, weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo, are the ones we are competitive in,”Lakhan said.

“There is no question on Australia and New Zealand becoming members of the Pacific Games Council, no question of them wanting to host the games.

“At the moment, all they will do at our invitation is come and take part in the Games.

“Football is not included in those four sports which Australia and New Zealand will be taking part in.

“Oceania Football Confederation wanted us and asked if they (New Zealand) could take part in football at the Pacific Games and we said no because the issue is now closed.

“They wanted to use the Pacific Games as a qualifying event for 2016 Rio Olympics.

However, they have maintained that the winner of the football competition in Port Moresby can play New Zealand to determine who qualifies.

“After the Pacific Games we will have an open discussion on Australia and New Zealand participating in future games,” he said.

 

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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