FIFA calls off Fiji WC qualifier

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> FIFA postponed Fiji's World Cup qualifier because the home team's govt refused to allow a visiting player into the country.

Updated: October 14, 2007 16:01 IST
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FIFA postponed Fiji's World Cup qualifier at New Zealand on Saturday because the home team's government refused to allow a visiting player into the country.

FIFA said the game couldn't be played unless goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau is allowed into the country.

New Zealand imposed travel sanctions against members of the Fijian military and their families over last December's military coup. Tamanisau's father-in-law is a military police officer.

"The goalkeeper should have the right to play," FIFA said in a statement. "Therefore, in order to preserve this sporting principle as well as the competitive integrity of the 2010 FIFA World Cup preliminary competition, FIFA could not allow the match to take place under the current conditions."

FIFA said it would decide later when and where the game will be held.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said sports organisations do not set foreign policy and called FIFA's decision unjust.

"Entry to another country is a privilege and all countries retain the right to exclude individuals in accordance with their immigration policy," Peters said.

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