Netball Fiji qualifies for World Cup

Maliana Rusivakula tussles with her Barbados counterpart during the Commonwealth Games netball competition. Fiji Pearls has qualified for the World CupPicture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

THE Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou has applauded the Fiji Pearls for qualifying for the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England. The Pearls defeated Papua New Guinea 55-34 last Friday in the Oceania qualifiers in New Zealand to secure a top two ranking.

However the side lost to Samoa in the final 54-43 on Saturday. In a press release Tuitubou said the news would delight all the supporters of Netball Fiji after their recent performances at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

“We know that our team can do it and this just proves it,” he said. “Hard work and dedication has carried the team to this qualification. “I would like to congratulate Netball Fiji for securing their sport at next year’s World Cup.” Tuitubou confirmed that the Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, would consider the support required for the team’s preparation.

“We will definitely support Netball Fiji for the team’s preparation to the Netball World Cup next year,” he said. “As Fiji’s premier sport for women, it is important to give meaning to our commitment to gender equality. “We will also discuss with Netball Fiji how best we can identify and improve on the technical areas and see that the team is provided with the best resources and personnel to prepare towards the tournament. This will also support our preparations to host the Netball U20 World Cup in 2021.” Fiji now has qualified for their sixth consecutive Netball World Cup.