Tongan Fans Banned From Auckland Airport

"Almost like it's a racial thing"

17 November 2017

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Tongan rugby league fans will be turned away and possibly banned from Auckland airport, if they turn up to congratulate the national team should they beat Lebanon in the World Cup quarter-final. 

The airport has issued a warning, if Tonga wins, the team will transfer straight onto a bus without going through the domestic terminal on their return to Auckland.

This is an attempt to combat the 3500 supporters who turned up when the team arrived in New Zealand on the eve of the tournament. 

However, Tongan Advisory Council chair Malino Maka told RadioNZ, it's a ridiculous decision. 

"Sometimes it's really hard to read what's behind the decision and leaves us no room but to speculate," Maka said. 

"It's almost like it's a racial thing, just because we're Pacific Islanders and we come from the Pacific and they tend to treat us like that.

"We're trying to support a team that's actually struggling in all departments in terms of resources.

"We're all the way with them."

The winner of the Tonga and Lebanon quarter-final will take on either PNG or England in Auckland next Saturday. 

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