The Fiji Police force has suspended indefinitely one of their sevens teams from taking part in any future tournaments after a violent incident in the Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s in Nadi.
The Fiji Times reports that an order banning the players representing Police White was issued by the Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu yesterday. The incident involved Police player Watisoni Sevutia allegedly throwing punches at Raiwasa Taveuni player Manueli Maisamoa, who fell to the ground. Sevutia was alleged to have continued his assault when Maisamoa was on the ground.
The incident triggered a scuffle between the players which was stopped by match officials and police officers on duty at the ground. Images of the incident had been on media platforms and social media since it happened. “Those responsible will be held accountable,” said Tudravu.
“I am extremely disappointed with the actions of those involved because it goes against the principles of why Police are participating in sporting tournaments through Community Policing. Police White will not be taking part in 7s tournaments until investigation is done.”
FRU chief executive officer John O’ Connor said: “It was a disappointing incident, especially since Police White is part of the Super Sevens Series.”
Discipline was a problem at the tournament and on day one 58 yellow cards and nine red cards were shown during 102 matches. On day two, 106 matches were played with 130 yellow and 15 red cards
Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber is concerned about player discipline and said: “It’s a big number and if the rest of the world will look at that then you have got some issues. But we all have to work on that all the time, me included.
“As coaches we have to take the responsibility to educate the players. It is not to just push back on to them to say you are the bad boy in the middle of it. That’s what I need to work on with the coaches to get them to coach the players in the right way to play the game. I have to get my players better in regards to discipline.”
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