A BRAWL on the final day of the FBC TV National Volleyball Championships at the National Gymnasium in Suva yesterday forced organisers to cancel the tournament.
The Fiji Volleyball Federation decided to postpone the annual event after a fight broke out in the men's quarter-final match between the Mirchi FM Suva and the Raiwai II sides.
Federation general secretary Rosa Dalituicama confirmed to Times Sport the argument started with the exchange of words between the players from both teams.
"A player from one of the teams went under the net and hit the opposing team's player after which other players joined the fight," she said.
"We can't confirm on which team player started the fight yet but whatever happened today (yesterday) was very unfortunate."
Dalituicama said they had to call off the remaining matches because of the safety of everyone present at the games venue.
However, she denied claims that the sponsor, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), pulled out their backing as a result of the brawl.
Dalituicama said she would be meeting with them (FBC) later this week to discuss on the next step.
"For us, the safety of our stakeholders, which are the players, officials and spectators, comes first. We don't want to jeopardise their safety and therefore the federation decided to cancel the remaining games," she said.
"I was disappointed that the fight took place. It's very hard to secure sponsorship and we are fortunate to have a five-year sponsorship deal with the FBC TV.
"But whether the initial deal stays or the years will be reduced, will be known next week."
Dalituicama also said the police officers were present when the fight broke out and helped in escorting the players and fans safely out of the complex.
She said some players (from other teams) were apprehended after the police found them reeking of alcohol.
Meanwhile, a new men's champion was set to be crowned last night after defending champions 2Day FM Suva lost to a young Raiwai III side in the first quarter-final.
The team led by national rep Waisake Raratabu was unable to contain their spirited opponents as they thrashed them 2-0.
In the girls division, Kinoya One, FBC Suva Black, FBC Suva Blue and Vatuwaqa progressed to the semi-finals.