Fiji returns to Commonwealth Games fold

Suva (Fiji), March 15: The Fijian government Saturday confirmed the country’s return to the Commonwealth Games fold.

The announcement followed the 43rd meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group held in London Friday, where the group decided that Fiji’s current full suspension from the Commonwealth should be changed to suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which permits Fiji once again to participate in a range of Commonwealth activities, including the Commonwealth Games, reports Xinhua.

“Fijian athletes and sports people will especially welcome the opportunity to compete in the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July,” the Fijian government said in a statement.

However, the statement underscored that “the government notes that those games are now only four months away and Fijian athletes may not be as prepared as they would normally be to compete.”

“With that in mind, the decision on whether to go to Glasgow will be left to the various sporting bodies in Fiji,” added the statement.

The Commonwealth fully suspended Fiji’s membership Sep 2, 2009 on grounds that the South Pacific island country refused to pledge to hold democratic elections by October 2010, a deadline set by the Commonwealth.

In defiance of the deadline, the Fijian government has pledged that the country will hold a general election by September 2014.