Vila Times

Tahiti suspended from Pacific Games due to political interference

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The General Assembly of the Pacific Games Council (PGC) unanimously agreed to suspend the membership of the Tahiti Nui Pacific Games Association (COPF) due to the French Polynesian Government’s interference in the autonomy and independence of sporting associations, which calumniated in its decision to boycott the Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Mini Games.

The suspension will formally take effect after the closing ceremony of the Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Mini Games and will remain in force until the PGC Executive Board is convinced that this political interference has ceased and that the autonomy of the COPF is fully respected.

“The Tahiti Government had written to PGC advising if we did not recognize whom they wanted us to recognize, they will ask their national federations to boycott the Vanuatu Games. We see that as direct political interference,” PGC president Vidya Lakhan said.

Most of the 19 Pacific Games Associations present spoke in support of the suspension. Tahiti has also been suspended as an associate member of the Oceania National Olympic Committee.