19 Dec 2014

Sport: Oceania Hockey assists Fiji

3:02 pm on 19 December 2014

The Oceania Hockey Federation is working behind the scenes to ensure it has at least one representative at the next round of the World League event.

The Fiji men's and women's teams qualified for the Round 2 tournaments in Singapore and Delhi after winning qualifying events in Suva last week.

But the Fiji Hockey Federation confirmed it won't be sending their women's team due to a lack of finance, while the men's team have been given three weeks to rustle up some funds of their own.

Oceania Hockey Development Manager Gill Gemming says they're doing everything they can to assist Fiji's efforts.

"We recognise that it is highly likely that only one team can afford to go, and that would be the men's team, but the Oceania Hockey Federation is working closely with them plus a line through to the International Federation, because the last thing we want is Oceania not to be recognised and being on the global stage for our Pacific Islands representative."

Gill Gemming says it would be very disappointing if the region was forced to withdraw completely.

"I think all the Pacific teams have really made a great deal of progress over the last two years, since the last one, and I think Fiji learnt a lot from being involved in 2012, and particularly having to play Olympic-ranked teams and really they developed as a result of that. They recognised what they needed to improve on. I think to then not be able to participate would really create quite a hole in their development".

Papua New Guinea has expressed an interest in filling the void if Fiji cannot send a team but also face funding constraints.