Editorial: All We Want Is Fair Treatment For Naduva

Last year, Naduva’s visa was withheld at the Suva Embassy.
24 Feb 2019 14:25
Editorial: All We Want Is Fair Treatment For Naduva
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rising star Alasio Naduva still waiting for his visa application. Photo: Zimbio

Why is it so difficult for the US Embassy in Suva to issue a visa to Fiji Airways Flying Fijians speedster Alosio Naduva?

What threat does our pint-sized winger pose to the US Government and its people if he is to enter America?

Last year, Naduva’s visa was withheld at the Suva Embassy.

But it is understood that after World Rugby and USA Rugby intervened, an order came from a high office in Washington DC to Princes Road, Tamavua, for his visa to be issued.

It is believed that if Naduva’s visa was not issued, there was a possibility of moving last July’s Sevens Rugby World Cup away from San Francisco.

There was no visa problem during the trouble-free Sevens Rugby World Cup at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, where none of our players overstayed and they all (including Naduva) returned home safely.

The Gareth Baber-coached side left for Las Vegas on Friday night while Naduva is again left behind waiting for the result of his visa application.

The Fiji Rugby Union said in a statement that it lodged Naduva’s visa application along with the other players in late January.

So why the fuss?

We all know that Naduva is a soldier by profession and a member of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). Under the United Nations peacekeeping deployment, he and many other Fijian soldiers have served in war-torn countries such as Iraq and Syria – two mainly Muslim countries – that fall under or previously fell under US President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions.

But that does not make Naduva or any of our soldiers a terrorist or a threat to national security. They are law-abiding citizens with the interest of their nation at heart.

Naduva needs to be treated fairly. He is currently the leading try scorer in the 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series and should be allowed to join his team- mates in Las Vegas.

This is required by World Rugby and USA Rugby, if we are to field our strongest possible team.

So, let’s stop all this nonsense and get on with this game of fair play.

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