Police stops volleyball tournament

A national league volleyball tournament with more than 250 players participating in it was abruptly stopped by the Police on Monday night.

The tournament was held at the Samoa Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (S.I.S.D.A.C.) gym at Fugalei. 

President of Volleyball Federation Incorporation, Leute Faamanu Mataipule, confirmed the incident.

She said the stoppage was due to the orders under the National State of Emergency declared by the Government to combat measles.

Ms. Mataipule said Police had notified the Committee that the tournament should be discontinued.

The President also defended the decision from the Federation to continue its tournament despite a state of emergency order prohibiting children under 19 from public gatherings.

She added the Federation had issued a notice to its members that no children under the prohibited age were to attend the tournament.  

Asked who the sports bodies were, Ms. Mataipule said those other sports have also stopped their tournament. 

“Our tournament has been on for a while before [the state of emergency],” she said. 

“It’s no longer taking place and we have advised the members about the changes. I believe it was one of the players who is friends with someone from there [National Emergency Operation Centre] that reported the games.” 

Queried about concerns that there were still children at the volleyball tournament despite state of emergency orders, Ms. Mataipule’s call was suddenly cut off.

Follow-up calls placed to her phone were not answered. 

A volleyball player who did not wish to be named in fear of repercussion for his club said the notice from the Federation on children being prohibited from attending was not effectively implemented. 

“People were still turning up with their children at the tournaments,” he said. 

“It does raise a lot of concerns about the decision to continue the games when we are in a state of emergency. 

“There are also parents who can easily contract it from there and could possibly pass it on to their children at home.”  

There were approximately about 42 volleyball clubs that participated in the national league with six players not including subs per team. 

The tournament began in early October and was heading to its finals before it was disrupted by Police visit on Monday night. 

It was not possible to get a comment from the Police.

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