17 December 2008

Fiji netball player may be dropped due to NZ visa sanctions

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The coach for Fiji's national netball team is considering dropping her top Under-21 shooter in the lead-up to a tour in New Zealand due to visa issues, reports Radio New Zealand International.

Melissa Walker, coach of Netball Fiji says her number one shooter for the Under-21 national team may have to be dropped in light of the strict New Zealand visa sanctions.

The New Zealand government imposed visa sanctions on the incumbent military regime and those related to the Fijian military, who overthrew the ruling government in 2006. 

Cecilia Sorby is the only player on the team with connections to the military - her father is a military officer in the Fiji Army - and there is concern that the New Zealand Immigration Service will not grant her a visa in February during the Fiji Junior tour of New Zealand.

Yesterday, the Fiji Under-20s touch football team withdrew from the World Championship in New Zealand because of the impositions of the visa sanctions, and earlier this month after some struggle, the Fiji Under-20s soccer team only just managed to get transit visas for New Zealand.

The Acting High Commissioner is also waiting a pending decision from the Fijian military regarding her future.  The Fijian ruling party has threatened the High Commission in Suva with yet another dismissal of the High Commissioner if the New Zealand immigration department because the New Zealand has refused a New Zealand visa for the son of the secretary to the Commodore.  The New Zealand government has stood by its decision in spite of the threats.


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.


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