BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
TEAM Solomon encountered a shortage of meal cards for athletes, coaches and team managers earlier this week.
This was reportedly due to members of ‘a number of federations’ abusing their privilege to free meals at the Games mess, ‘using the meal cards for friends and family members’.
Island Sun sighted an email by Team Solomon Management over the weekend, cautioning the contingent to refrain from this practice.
“Team Solomon is currently facing an issue with Meal Cards,” the email said.
“If you are not aware, meal cards are issued according to the total number of athletes, coaches and team managers as per the numerical entries regulated and qualified by the Pacific Games Organizers (This includes PGC and GOC).
“We have submitted these numbers to them therefore the number of meal cards issued to respective Team Managers are set.”
“As of today [Sunday, November 26] we have run out of meal cards and are short as some federations are still requesting meal cards.
“We have received information that a number of federations are bringing persons apart from the Team Contingent to the Meal Venues and are using the meal cards for friends and family members.
“Therefore, there is a shortage of meal cards and we now have to ask for more from the relevant authorities.
“Please we would like you to control the number of meal cards you have as these are counted already according to the number of your athletes, coaches and team managers.
“This does not include PGA staff, Guests, friends or relatives!”
The email went on to ask team managers and officials if anyone has spare meal cards to return them to Team Solomon Management to give to those who do not have any.
“If you have extra meal cards with you then please return them to Team Solomon Management so that we can re distribute them.
“We are having difficulties with GOC not releasing new cards for the second week of competitions,” the email said.
Island Sun understands that this matter has been resolved, according to a senior official in the Team Solomon management, who requested anonymity.
The official adds that this is a concern shared by other hard-working team officials who are tax-payers.
“Yes, this matter has been addressed, those who did not have meal cards have received theirs.
“However, we are wary the concerns contained in the email will continue despite management’s plea for those doing it to stop.
“We are concerned because we know this Games has chewed a lot of Solomon Islands’ taxpayer money, and it is not good seeing this irresponsible and careless behaviour.”
Island Sun earlier this week sought comments from the Team Solomons Chef De Mission Fay Indu Ghemu. She expressed concern on how the issue ended up with the media, and that the paper did not have her permission to publish on the issue.