Sayed-Khaiyum estimates more than $10m bill for 7s tournament

IF Fiji wins the bid to host a tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Government is ready to fork out money from its coffers for the event.

This was confirmed to Parliament by acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was expected to cost the state in excess of $10 million to host the tournament.

“We are looking at an excess of $10m, the current estimation because the World Rugby requirement is that wherever you have such an international tournament, it must be near to an international airport for the convenience of the players, the teams,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. “We need to have fields around where they can do their warm up etc. These are some of the conditions that are attached to it.

“And of course, if successful in the bid, we will need the money to ensure that we host a successful leg of the sevens tournament in order to be part of the various other destinations. The figure is not finalised as yet. That was some estimation that was done.”

He said if Fiji was successful in its bid, there would also be a need for the construction of some infrastructure to be able to host the sevens series.

“There are obviously various structures that have been looked at in the Western Division, whether it’s Prince Charles Park in Nadi, whether it’s Churchill Park or whether it’s some other place, other organisations such as the Fijian Holdings has actually looked at investing in sports.”

He revealed in Parliament that FHL was looking at investing in a permanent structure in the Western Division. “It’s not just about the honour and the pride of hosting it in Fiji. It will have enormous benefits on our people.

“We look forward to a very positive response and we look forward to every Fijian supporting this.”

The Fiji Rugby Union recently sent its tender to World Rugby to host a tournament in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series here.

FRU chief executive officer, John O’Connor, had confirmed the union had complied with the bid requirements and submitted their bid to World Rugby before the deadline.