Delayed 7s Visa Saga

“If key players are not there, then that creates opportunities for debuts to showcase what they have.
24 Nov 2021 16:46
Delayed 7s Visa Saga

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor yesterday denied that the delayed sevens visa approval was their fault.

Kavekini Tabu and Terio Tamani were left behind while the rest of the men’s sevens and the women Fijiana teams flew out for Dubai on Saturday from Nadi because their United States of America visa applications were not approved

“There is a process to be followed and we followed it, no one slept on their job,” O’Connor said yesterday.

“We cannot apply for the players’ visa(s) until the team is named – the first 13 players had their applications lodged first and they were the ones that have left on Saturday,” he said.

“As of today (yesterday) Terio and Kavekini are still in town, if nothing comes through then we will follow up tomorrow (today) and have something done about them so that they will be in Dubai in time for the second tournament next week (December 3-4).

“All this, is part Fiji Rugby’s long term plan as we build up for the Commonwealth Games, sevens World Cup and the Olympics.

“If key players are not there, then that creates opportunities for debuts to showcase what they have.

“Fiji does not depend on one player alone, it is opportunities like these that new players can stamp their mark at the same time the pool of players is expanded ready for the coming big games.”

According to Tamani he had communicated with the former Fiji sevens manager that his US visa had expired while they were still at the Vancouver 7s before the pandemic last year.

“There was probably a communication breakdown and could be the reason for the delay this time, then that manager is no longer with the team,” Tamani said.

“Kavekini is also in the same situation. I was looking forward to go to Dubai even if I’m not in the 13-member squad.

“I’m thankful that FRU is working on our visa. Hopefully we get in on time for the second tournament in Dubai.”

The first leg of the Dubai 7s tournament kicks off this weekend and you can watch all the action live on FBC TV.




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