SPORTS

Tokyo Olympic Risk

Tight secu­rity health measures required by the Tokyo Olympic Games committee could prevent our Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team from playing in a proposed Oceania 7s tourna­ment in Sydney,
27 Apr 2021 11:42
Tokyo Olympic Risk
Fiji Shadow’s Sireli Maqala dives over for a try during their quarterfinal for the 2021 45th Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on March 27, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Tight secu­rity health measures required by the Tokyo Olympic Games committee could prevent our Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team from playing in a proposed Oceania 7s tourna­ment in Sydney, Australia.

This was the gist of Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower’s message during an interview with SUNsports.

Bower said, if the Fijian men’s rugby sevens team are to play Australia, then they must meet all COVID-19 requirements before they fly to Tokyo, Japan.

It is understood the risk is that the team return home a week be­fore they leave for Tokyo. At this time, they will not complete their 14-day quarantine requirement.

“We are moving into analysing the costs and logistics,” Bower said.

“If the men’s rugby 7s team are going to Sydney, then on their re­turn they must meet the require­ments before boarding the plane with us to Tokyo.”

Bower said it’s a must for the Ga­reth Baber-coached side to return home and join the flight to Tokyo.

“The Tokyo Olympics require­ment demands that 72 hours prior departure the Team Fiji contin­gent must be strictly monitoring from there (in Fiji),” he said.

“They (in Japan) will check the report to ensure we have followed the 72-hour protocol and ready to leave for Tokyo.”

Failing to do that, Bower said, the Team Fiji contingent will not be al­lowed to enter Japan.

He reiterated that Team Fiji ath­letes and officials must strictly fol­low all protocols. “We are finalis­ing things particularly focusing on the COVID-19 requirements. That is to make sure we are meeting all the obligations that must to be met,” he said.

Bower said with Wayne O’Connor as the Team Fiji’s COVID-19 Coun­try Liaison Officer (CLO), he is do­ing everything to ensure that we are on track.

“Wayne is in close collaboration with the officials in Tokyo on their requirements. “And we are now re­ceiving daily and weekly updates from them,” he said.

“We have put together a docu­ment, particularly in Fiji and its ongoing so what we have this week may not be the same as next week.

“This depends on situation, that is where we are at the moment.”

Bower reiterated that O’Connor plays an important role.

“Again, he makes sure that we comply with all the health proto­cols from Tokyo,” he said.

“Once we get to Tokyo and we don’t comply with what they want then we will not be allowed entry.”

Baber had earlier indicated the need for the sevens team to play in Australia to expose the new play­ers, especially when playing inter­nationally.

The Fijian men’s sevens team won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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