Fiji Sevens not in jeopardy
Fiji Wednesday rubbished overseas media reports that the seventh round of the International Ruby Board Sevens tournament had been cancelled here due to financial constraints.
Sports Minister Ponipate Lesavua said the tournament was going ahead as scheduled without any hitches.
"That's all nonsense. I don't know where they are bringing these reports from. All the participating teams are here and there have been no complaints," Lesavua told AFP.
Earlier Radio New Zealand reported the Fiji Rugby Football Union was unable to host this weekend's tournament because of financial constraints and had approached government to bail it out.
Lesavua said the government usually contributed towards the funding of any international tournament held in Fiji but apart from this, no unusual request for funds had come from the FRFU.
"We are going to give about 15,000 Fiji dollars (7500 US) towards the tournament. We always give funds for international tournaments to sporting bodies," Lesavua said.
Delays in getting sponsorship for the weekend tournament may have resulted in the earlier rumours.
A Fiji Times report Wednesday said a sponsorship deal between FRFU and major sponsor, Air Pacific, was not sealed until Tuesday "after repeated telephone conferences between FRFU and Air Pacific's Max Kruse."
Air Pacific which has sponsored the tournament for the past seven years, withdrew its sponsorship when it could not secure seating arrangements on Qantas and Air New Zealand flights, the paper said.