The much anticipated Fiji Bitter Malake 7s tournament scheduled to kick off tomorrow, will not feature a netball competition.
Tournament director Isoa Yasawa confirmed the cancellation, citing low number of participating teams.
Out of the planned 16 netball teams, only three confirmed their places.
“We have very low number of participating teams. So far only three teams have confirmed their places, one has paid in full, while the other two have only made deposits. We have decided to cancel the netball competition because of this, and the money will be returned for the three teams.”
The challenges extend to the men’s rugby category, where only 20 teams have confirmed their participation out of the targeted 32.
In the under-18 to 21 category, 10 out of 18 planned teams have registered, and the women’s division is limited to four teams.
This setback follows a similar situation in the first leg of the Fiji Bitter Series, which concluded in Namalata, Kadavu, where the netball competition was also cancelled.
Tournament co-ordinator Malakai Yamaivava attributed the absence of netball in the previous leg to late registrations and a tight preparation window.
Despite these hurdles, the tournament is set to commence tomorrow, starting with the youth category at the Narauyaba Sports Ground in Rakiraki.
Organisers remain hopeful for an exciting and competitive rugby event, even as they address the challenges posed by the low team registrations.