Tahiti has been suspended from the Pacific Games Council due to “political interference” from the French Polynesian Government.

The suspension was unanimously agreed by the Pacific Games Council’s General Assembly during a meeting in Port Vila yesterday.

In a statement, the Council said French Polynesia’s government had interfered in the autonomy and independence of sporting associations, which culminated in its decision to boycott the 2017 Mini Games in Vanuatu.

The suspension will formally take effect after Friday’s closing ceremony of the Mini Games and will remain in force until the Council’s Executive Board is convinced the political interference has ended and that the autonomy of the Tahiti Nui Pacific Games Association is fully respected.

Despite the government boycott, a team of boxers from Tahiti has travelled to Vanuatu and will compete at the Mini Games this week under the flag of the Pacific Games Council.

The territory’s rugby sevens team was also due to take part but pulled out at late notice.