The Minister of Sports Simeon Seule has responded to yesterday’s article in the Daily Post (issue #5382) which questioned his absence during the arrival of Team Vanuatu Tuesday evening.

Minister Simeon said the reason why he wasn’t at the airport was because he wasn’t informed of the arrival of the athletes, hence the reason why he didn’t come to greet them.

The Sports Minister explained: “I’m not sure about them coming, because i was at a Commonwealth meeting and will be arriving late, i wasn’t informed of their coming.”

According to the Sports Minister, he attended a Sports Minister’s meeting in Fiji, which then was moved to Australia for the commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting.

He insinuated that he was in Australia and arrived late in the country, too late to greet the athletes, but according to the Air Vanuatu flight manifesto, the Minister had landed in the country at 11pm Sunday, two days before Team Vanuatu arrived.

According to the Daily Post front page article yesterday, the Minister of Youth and Sports was spotted outside a nakamal at Bladinere Estate some 20 minutes prior to the team landing, to which the Sports Minister sternly denied the allegations.

“Take the picture and put it, right now i’m the Minister, if they not happy and they want to be the Sports Minister they have to go to the rural, elect them and come and perform the way they think,” replied Mr. Simeon.

That being said, Minister Simeon added that he is mortified not to have been at the airport on Tuesday evening, but the silver lining is that he is working on monetary incentives for the athletes who returned with medals – “Different Payments for different medals, similar to VAN2017 Mini Games, however, the Commonwealth winners can expect more.”

Even the VASANOC had a press conference yesterday where only one member of Parliament, Albert William attended and the rest of the Vanuatu Parliamentarians were nowhere to be seen.

The Minister himself was made known about the press conference, but did not turn up.