The Samoan rugby sevens men and women’s teams were denied entrance as they fail to meet their government’s Covid-19 requirements.
Both teams have said to be stranded in Dubai for failing in their own government’s Covid-19 requirements to enter the country. The team had just recently fought in the Olympic Repechage in Monaco, France. The Samoan national rugby sevens team missed out on the an Olympic qualification after losing in the semi finals.
Players and staff from both the men’s and women’s teams were denied passage on their flight from Dubai to New Zealand due to said problems with their blood tests.
“They’re stuck in Dubai at the moment,” Samoa’s Olympic President Patrick Fepuleai told Reuters by telephone.
Daniel Leo, director of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare group and a former rugby player himself, mentioned that he has been in contact with the team in Dubai. Their tentative flight out to Dubai will now be on July 27, after further requirements are submitted.
“If they had qualified (for Tokyo), they probably would have been welcomed back with open arms,” he added.
Samoan government or the Samoan rugby federation had no comments about the incident regarding the teams passage back home.
although the governing body of World Rugby has reached out to players to help them with options on how they may return home.
“The welfare of the players is our priority and we have offered our assistance,” said World Rugby.
Samoa has also pulled out some teams from different sports for the Tokyo Olympic games after a curb in Covid-19 has been announced.
Samoa Rugby attempted to win a spot in the Olympic Games in Monaco in June, but failed to do so. Ireland men, French women and Russian women’s sevens teams all qualified for the Tokyo Games after winning in Monaco.
Fiji, the defending champions have also been on fire as they were undefeated in their trial match in Australia. While the defending women’s gold medalists, Australia continued to struggle against arch rivals, New Zealand as they have lost 11 out of 12 games in the past couple of months.