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Pravin Narain
Friday, February 09, 2018

THE Fiji National Rugby League has made it clear only the members of FNRL could vote the current board out, says chairman Filimoni Vosarogo.

This follows calls made by Vodafone Fiji Bati captain Kevin Naqama in The Australian website for the FNRL board to be voted out.

The website reported Naqama spoke about the players' (Ashton Sims and Korbin Sims) and coach's (Mick Potter) passport being lost in the first week of the camp and how the squad's player-manager was sacked.

Vosarogo said he took the full responsibility of the discontent of the passports and visa issues.

"Anyone has a right to call for the voting out of the board, but the members of the annual general meeting are the ones who have the mandate to elect.

"The board is answerable to the AGM and it is to the AGM that the board will report to on April 7, 2018," Vosarogo said.

"I, like anyone else on the board, am not indispensable. If the members feel there is no confidence, they will vote on it and result will be what everyone will have to accept.

"We will respect the decision of the members who will come and vote at the AGM."

Naqama was also quoted saying the overseas players would not be part of the Fiji Bati squad until the payments were made to them.

"What we experienced was not good enough, and we've come to an agreement as a playing group that we will stand down from any Fiji Bati Tests until we get paid," The Australian website quoted Naqama.

Vosarogo said the payment of the prizemoney was being organized to be paid through the National Rugby League.

"They going to get players ABN numbers and have invoices raised for payment and issues such as taxes and superannuation (should it apply), be also considered in the process before payment.

"It is envisaged that within the next 10 to 14 days, the players will get their payment from the NRL into their accounts," Vosarogo said.

"Our meetings with the players and staff before departure were to iron out any outstanding matters before departure.

" Everyone's intent is to see that the campaign goes well as planned.

"The issues that occurred are unfortunate and in hindsight, it could have been better addressed.

"Most of these are lessons on this journey and it would be some markers that the organisation will consider to ensure that it doesn't occur again in the next world cup campaign.

"For the issues of the late arrival of player payment in the course of the tournament, the discontent of the passport and the visa issues that occurred in the world cup campaign, I take full responsibility for it as the chair of the organisation.

"It happened under my watch and I am fully responsible for it.

"None of that was intentional or reckless, they were just not monitored well and for that, I am extremely sorry for how the players have had to deal with that through the campaign."

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