Naleba confirms Bati players will be paid

FIJI National Rugby League chief executive officer Timoci Naleba yesterday confirmed the National Rugby League (NRL) will pay the Fiji Bati players their Rugby League World Cup pay and not the FNRL.

This after several key members of the Vodafone Fiji Bati team including skipper Kevin Naiqama broke their silence on the non-payment of Rugby League World Cup payments.

It is believed players will receive more than $3000 each from this world cup payment.

Naleba said the NRL was waiting for the players to give their bank account details for the money to be deposited.

He said there had been misinterpretation of the issue after it was leaked to the media few months ago.

Naleba said only six players were yet to give their bank account details before the money was released to the players.

“The latest update we have received so far is that six players are still to give their account details to the NRL,” he said.

“NRL will make the payments and not FNRL and there has been misinformation on the issue.”

Meanwhile, Naiqama in his recent outburst in Australia through the Sydney Morning Herald said the players were still waiting for the payment.

“It’s beyond a joke,” Naiqama told the SMH.

“It’s been going on for over five months now, we’re still waiting. It’s money that we deserve. The squad we had wasn’t the most talented one, there were only a handful of NRL players and the rest were playing reserve grade or Jim Beam Cup.

“They are reliant on that money and left their jobs to be part of the World Cup.

“We really want that money transferred into our accounts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rugby League International Federation intermediary Tas Baitieri also old the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia that the Rugby League International Federation has secured the funds and is hoping to transfer them to Fijian players as soon as possible after recently getting their banking details.