Malake organisers call off tournament

Image: MALAKE RUGBY CLUB

The inaugural Fiji Bitter Malake 7s tournament scheduled next week in Rakiraki has been postponed to a later date.

It becomes the latest casualty of sporting meets to suffer the same fate because of the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

Tournament media and marketing manager James Vunituraga said the event was cancelled because of the new “no spectators at sporting venues” policy implemented by the Fiji National Sports Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

That policy came into effect on January 11 in the fight against the third wave of a killer virus.

“We’re waiting for the relevant authorities to lift the new policy pertaining to the amended ‘Safe Return to Sports’ protocols,” Vunituraga said.

“It’s the only reason that we’ve postponed the tournament because we’re prohibited to host large outdoor gatherings in the country at the moment.

“We’re hoping the policy reverts to the green level from the current amber sooner rather than later so that everyone can enjoy sports again.”

He confirmed new dates would be announced when the green light was given by the FNSC and MHMS.

The tournament would have been the biggest event hosted in the Ra Province – organisers had confirmed receiving entries for 32 senior men’s rugby teams, 16 under-21 sides, and eight women’s teams.

Meanwhile, some top local rugby sevens clubs that had confirmed their participation included defending Fiji Bitter Wairiki 7s champions Tabadamu, last year’s Super Sevens Series winners Police Blue, Army Green, Namatakula-based Ratu Filise and Dominion Brothers.

The tourney had earmarked three different sports played together in one location.

Vunituraga said 16 men’s and eight women’s volleyball teams, including 16 netball teams in the open grade for females had also registered their participation in the three-day tournament at the Ra sports ground.

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