SPORTS

Levuka Lifters Stay Out Of Suva Meeting

The Levuka Weightlifting Club will continue their boycott on representing Fiji in protest of the appointment of Hossein Tavakoli as national head coach. Club president Peni Tawai said they would
09 Jun 2018 15:00
Levuka Lifters Stay Out Of Suva Meeting
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Eileen Cikamatana in Tavia in Ovalau. Photo: Manhar Lal

The Levuka Weightlifting Club will continue their boycott on representing Fiji in protest of the appointment of Hossein Tavakoli as national head coach.

Club president Peni Tawai said they would not attend the trials to­day and the meeting tomorrow at the Fiji Olympic House organised by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC).

“Our decision is final and our boy­cott continues unless our four con­ditions are met,” Tawai said.

“These are:

  • Removal of the coach Tavakoli;
  • Reinstating of Joe Vueti as na­tional coach;
  • Eileen Cikamatana should be left undisturbed at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea; nThe International Olympic Com­mittee scholarship athletes (Eileen, Apolonia Vaivai, Manueli Tulo) must be paid fully and should be given their IOC scholarship finan­cial breakdown.”

Weightlifting Fiji requested FAS­ANOC’s assistance to mediate on the issue.

The delegation consisted of Ma­karita Lenoa (vice-president FAS­ANOC), Dr Robin Mitchell (Fiji Hockey Federation president), Ma­nasa Baravilala (Boxing Fiji presi­dent) and Makelesi Batimala (ath­letes representative) travelled to Levuka on May 30 to get the views of athletes and officials.

The FASANOC delegation shared their own experiences and knowl­edge of how the structure of sports works in Fiji and the impact this conflict could have on the pathway of high performing athletes, par­ticularly on those who had secured International Olympic Committee scholarships for Tokyo 2020.

Arrangements were then made for the meeting to be held at Fiji Olympic House at 10am tomorrow with the FASANOC delegation in attendance.

Although the Levuka club has since stated that the meeting must be held in Ovalau, the Levuka of­ficials who are on the board of Weightlifting Fiji and senior ath­letes can attend the meeting.

But Tawai said they would not travel to Suva.

“I informed them (FASANOC independent commission) that if Weightlifting Fiji executives want­ed to have negotiations, then they should come to Levuka themselves to see the hardship the Levuka ath­letes are facing for many years in that old gym,”Tawai said.

“There was no reply from Weight­lifting Fiji or FASANOC upon our request. They go ahead by calling all the athletes to come to the trials in Suva on Saturday and the meet­ing on Sunday.

“We will not come to Suva.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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