Fiji fans unhappy team failed to turn up at Thanksgiving Service

Fijians in Tonga having afternoon tea after the Thanksgiving service yesterday. Photo: MACIU MALO/The Fiji Times

By Maciu Malo (The Fiji Times)

NUKU’ALOFA-July 10: 11.12am: Members of the Fijian community here in Tonga were disappointed that the Vodafone Flying Fijians did not attend a thanksgiving church service yesterday.

More than a hundred Fijian fans also prepared afternoon tea for the players, but unfortunately no one turned up.

Fiji community member Iliesa Tora said he had invited the team through the management by emails and phone calls before the team departed FijiĀ and during their stay in Tonga.

Fijians in Tonga serving afternoon tea after the church service yesterday. Photo: MACIU MALO/The Fiji Times

Fijians in Tonga serving afternoon tea after the church service yesterday. Photo: MACIU MALO/The Fiji Times

“We are really disappointed that the team did not honour the invitation although there was indication from the team management that few players will attend,” he said.

“The service was planned as a thanksgiving and farewell for the team. The Fijian community were excited with the team’s arrival and they were happy to support the team in Tonga. This has been practised in the past years when the team visited Tonga.”

Tora said they had received confirmation from the team management that yesterday was their rest day and no guarantee was given for the players to attend the service.

“There was a call late today and a message from the management was conveyed that maybe not all of the team will be present,” Tora said.

“I believe that to show respect at least for the support shown by the Fijians here the team management should have turned up with one or two players at least to represent the team.”

But he said the Fijian community also sent well wishes to the team for their match against Samoa.

Fijians who turned up at the church service yesterday here in Nuku'alofa. Photo: MACIU MALO/The Fiji Times

Fijians who turned up at the church service yesterday here in Nuku’alofa. Photo: MACIU MALO/The Fiji Times

Fijians here turned up in numbers on Saturday to support the team and cheered them on to victory.

They had also presented the traditional welcome ceremony of sevusevu to the team when the team arrived on Tuesday here in Nuku’alofa, after they had turned up to welcome the team at the airport and accompanied them to their hotel in a procession that lasted almost two hours.

No comments could be obtained from the team.






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