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FRU slams report

Arin Kumar
Monday, January 13, 2014

FIJI Rugby Union chairman Filimoni Waqabaca has refuted claims made by overseas media that the government was interfering with FRU matters.

Referring to an article written by renowned New Zealand journalist Michael Field, Waqabaca said the Fiji Government was supportive of the FRU and the report was inaccurate.

Field wrote: "Fiji's rugby dreams are now a nightmare after the International Rugby Board (IRB) suspended its multi-million dollar funding this week because of its military-controlled governing body."

He claimed Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had no formal position in the FRU, but the crisis with the IRB, he said, was brought on by what he claimed was the PM's interference.

Field claimed the PM vetoed board appointments.

Field claimed as a consequence, national sevens coach Ben Ryan was not paid for three months, and paid his own way to recent tournaments.

Waqabaca said Field should have contacted the FRU for the right information instead of insinuating something else.

"We state that the suspension of funding support is not due to government interference, but on the need for FRU to improve its financial management, administrative and governance matters," he said. "Government has always supported FRU during critical periods. The report in the NZ media about government interference in FRU is mischievous, misguided and grossly inaccurate.

"It would be advisable for Michael Field, the reporter, to contact Fiji Rugby Union for clarifications on such matters instead of misinforming readers/public."

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