16 June 2008
NZ’s tough immigration laws playing with the World Cup
Fiji’s top goalkeeper Simone Tamanisau was denied entry to New Zealand for Football World Cup qualifying match against the All Whites in Auckland, which was due to be played November last year. Tamanisau was rejected because of his family connection to the Fijian military.
The New Zealand Government introduced a strict foreign policy against the Bainimarama family, after Frank Bainimarama led a violent military coup to overthrow the Fijian government in 2006. The New Zealand policy dictates economic terms and conditions, as well as approving visas to New Zealand for those connected with the Bainimarama family. Tamanisau is the son-in-law of Frank Bainimarama, and has therefore been banned from visiting New Zealand.
The match was rescheduled for June 23 in Apia, the capital of Western Samoa, until the Oceania Federation was made aware of the dire state of finances in the Samoan Soccer Federation. As it stands, the All Whites will be playing Fiji on November 9 this year, according to The Guardian.