Fifita refuses to back down on ban on girls boxing and playing rugby

'Ikai holomui e Minisitā Ako ia hili e ngaahi teke mei tu'a kau ai 'a e 'Eiki Palemia ke holomui mei he'ene fokotu'u ke ta'ofi 'a e fānau fefine a e Tonga High School ke kau he sipoti fuhu mo e 'akapulu 'a e ngaahi ako. Na'e pehe foki 'e he Palemia 'oku 'ikai ke kau 'a e fa'ahinga fakakaukau 'a e Minisita Ako he palani mo e taumu'a ngaue 'a hono pule'anga. Ka kuo fakaha 'eni e Penisimani Fifita ia 'oku 'ikai 'a e ngaahi konga ia he sino 'o e fefine 'oku tapu pea 'oku 'ikai totonu ia ai ke nau sipoti fuhu pe 'akapulu. Oku 'i ai mo 'ene palani 'ana ke ta'ofi kotoa 'a e fanau ako pule'anga mei he sipoti ka nau tokanga taha ki he ako ke tulituli hake he 'oku 'i ai 'enau tomui hili e matangi ko Kita. 'Oku 'amanaki ke fakahū atu 'ene pepa 'ana ki he kapineti ke poupou'i 'ene fakakaukau.

Education Minister Penisimani Fifita has refused to back down over his ban on girls boxing or playing rugby at Tonga High School.

And now he is blaming female anatomy for his stance.

“You know that there are some female parts – I think I don’t have to go on,” he said.

Fifita claims any disagreement with his views is based on cultural differences.

“So you are talking from a different culture to a different culture,” he told Radio New Zealand International..

“Here is what we have looked at. Only the girls at Tonga High School are not permitted to play rugby and also to engage in boxing.”

Penisimani Fifita said the ministry also planned to stop all sports at all government schools for the rest of the year so that students can catch up the time lost because of Cyclone Gita.

He said he would take a paper to Cabinet to explain his position.

As Kaniva News reported on the weekend, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva disagreed with the Minister’s decision.

He said the decision was not in line with his government’s policy.

“It is the Government’s responsibility to provide opportunities for all the students to participate in all sports,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is for the individual students and their parents to decide whether or not they should participate in a particular sport like rugby and boxing.”

Meanwhile, the Tonga Commonwealth Games Association has confirmed female boxer  Magan Maka as Tonga’s Flag Bearer for the XXI Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Miss Maka, who is coached by her father, Fili, will compete in the female 69kg division.

This will be the first time female boxing has been featured in the Games.

Tonga Boxing and TASANOC are also worked to secure her release from New Zealand Boxing and approval from the International Federation (AIBA).

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