GC2018: Stopping the scouts

Fiji's Eroni Sau runs away from the South African defence to score at Robina Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia last Sunday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

FIJI and the other Oceania countries are taking a united stand against scouts who had been luring our athletes for overseas contracts without following the right channel.

Fiji Minister for Youth and Sport Laisenia Tuitubou said Oceania sports ministers made a submission to the Commonwealth Games Federation on stopping Oceania athletes from scouts recruiting athletes illegally, especially rugby players.

“This is a big concern in the Oceania,” Tuitubou said.

“For years our athletes, especially in rugby and athletics, had been lured by scouts who did not follow the right channel in contracting players to play overseas.

“Most of them come in as tourists and recruit players. We have proposed that we work with our immigration departments to ensure that scouts are thoroughly checked because they had been coming in as tourists and conducting business by recruiting players.

“There are also cases where some locals are working with overseas scouts in the signing of athletes to play abroad. The discussion was part of talks on the human rights of athletes and also their rights.”

The 9th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting (9CSMM) was held during the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia last week. The meeting discussed how sports can contribute to national development in the Commonwealth and how to stop corruption, unethical or illegal behaviour, match-fixing and doping in sports.