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Protest over FSSRU move

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, July 31, 2014

PARENTS in Labasa will protest the eleventh hour decision of the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union committee to disqualify four teams from the competition tomorrow.

After forking out $5000 on jerseys, food, camp preparations and booking of Subrail Park for the semi-finals tomorrow, parents are adamant that their children will still participate.

Disqualified are the under-15 and U17 of All Saints Secondary School and the U16 and U18 of Holy Family Secondary School.

HFSS PTFA president Ratu Orisi Baleitavea said all their preparation had gone to waste.

"This will not end here and we will pursue this matter with higher authority. Our children are looking forward to the games tomorrow and parents paid for all preparations to spare the schools."

Speaking on behalf of the parents, Tui Vunibola only questioned why they were informed yesterday afternoon about the decision.

"That is just not fair because the semi-final is tomorrow. We have prepared so much for our children, parents paid $100 each for the rugby jerseys which have arrived and the committee decides to disqualify the game," he said.

He said they forked out $300 as fees for Subrail Park for the games because they thought of the safety of the students travelling from Viti Levu.

"Parents have gone out fishing at night to get fish and seafood for their rugby teams in camp and to be told they have been disqualified, is not acceptable."

Mr Vunibola added last year the teams did not play six games but qualified.

"I know because we helped out too last year."

FSSRU president Napolioni Silatolu said the decision was made based on the report from officials in the North.

"It showed us that these teams have not even played the six games which is the requirement to qualify for the national competition," he said.

"Our main concern is the safety of the players. When they only play two or even three games out of the six, there is injury risk and that is why we reached the decision.

"We can't risk that injury fact because it can be for a lifetime. When someone gets injured, people can talk on the side but it is the player who is affected for the lifetime."

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