Rugby World Cup
Fiji chairman denied NZ entry
ESPNscrum Staff
August 29, 2011
Fiji's Leone Nakarawa arrives in New Zealand, Auckland airport, New Zealand, August 29, 2011
Nakarawa arrives in Auckland with the rest of the Fijian side. © Getty Images
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New Zealand have barred Fiji Rugby Union chairman Colonel Mosese Tokoitoga from attending the World Cup after they refused to grant him a visa.

Fiji became the first team to arrive for the 2011 tournament when they touched down in Auckland airport on Monday ahead of the World Cup which starts in 12 days time.

But they arrived without their chairman as he is banned under New Zealand's travel sanctions which target members of Fiji's military regime. Fiji incurred previous problems with Leone Nakarawa- a member of their 30-man squad - who was originally barred from entering the country but New Zealand later granted him entry.

New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully said Tikoitoga's application for a visa was declined as soon as it was received last week. An application from another Fiji rugby official was also refused due to their military ties. McCully said: "the sanctions are there for a reason and banned means banned."

Fiji kick off their World Cup campaign on September 10 against Namibia in Rotorua.

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