NMSA to seek eligibility waiver for Kabiriel
Northern Marianas Sports Association will be seeking a waiver that will allow long-time and multi-awarded athlete Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel to compete in the canoe races in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
Under the Pacific Games Charter, athletes participating in the meet must be citizens or passport holders of the country they are representing. In the CNMI’s case, athletes must be a U.S. citizen. Kabiriel was born in Chuuk and does not hold a U.S. passport.
However, the 2016 NMSA Male Athlete of the Year can still represent the Commonwealth in this year’s Pacific Games, as there’s a provision in the charter that would waive the eligibility rules on the affected athlete.
Portion of Article 26, discussing eligibility rules state that “the Executive Board shall have the discretion to waive the provisions of sub-paragraphs (d) (i)-(ii) above (citizenship and residency). These discretionary powers shall include, but are not limited to, utilizing the prevailing eligibility rules of an International Federation where the following conditions are satisfied by the applicant International Federation no later than fifteen months prior to the Pacific Games.”
NMSA president Michael White, during the group’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter office at Airport Road, said they will seek waiver for Kabiriel on the grounds of the veteran athlete having represented the CNMI in previous Games.
Kabiriel and his fellow paddlers will join the canoe competition that will take place on July 9, 10, 12, and 13 at a new venue—Mulifanua. Canoe races were moved out of the Vaiusu Bay and Mulinu’u peninsula, as organizers had problems with planning and logistics. Mulifanua, according to the Samoa Games website, is also more suitable for canoe races with its flat water and conditions and great views of the host country.