Pacific Games Council (PGC) President Vidhya Lakhan has become the latest official to warn against political interference in sport after a row with the Tahiti Government lead to the nation boycotting the ongoing Mini Games in Vanuatu.
A dispute between Tahiti's Government and the PGC over who should represent the country's boxers at the event, following claims that they were being endorsed by a rival federation, led to the Government refusing to send a full delegation.
Tahiti are only represented in boxing and rugby sevens at the Pacific Mini Games as a result of the disagreement.
The governing body accused Tahiti's Government of political interference by choosing not to send an official team.
Competitors from Tahiti will participate as neutrals and under the PGC flag during the Games, meaning their anthem will not be played.
It comes after a decision from a local court to annul the results of the Tahiti Nui Pacific Games Association's elections last year.
The PGC then confirmed they would only accept entries from sporting federations in the country who are recognised by their respective International Federations.
The organisation had earlier warned in a statement that they would not entertain the prospect of unsanctioned athletes competing at the Mini Games.
"Sports must be free of political interference," Lakhan said during a meeting of regional Sports Ministers in Port Vila, held as part of the Pacific Mini Games.
"What our political leaders need to understand and more importantly remember at all times is that sport is self regulating and self governing.
"The rules and regulations we enact for ourselves must not in any way be in conflict with the laws of our respective countries.
"All the sports in our countries do not belong to us or our respective Governments.
"They belong to their respective federations by virtue of the affiliation of our national federations to these international federations we have their sports played in our countries."
Feagaiga Stowers of Samoa was among the star performers on the third day of sporting action at the Games as she set a Commonwealth record to win the women's over 90 kilograms weightlifting event.
The 17-year-old lifted 108kg in the snatch and 131kg in the clean and jerk for an overall 239kg to secure the gold medal.
Luisa Peter of the Cook Islands won the silver medal in the snatch and overall with totals of 101kg and 216kg respectively.
The Games continue tomorrow.