Tuitubou confirms FNRL bid

MINISTER for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou says bringing two National Rugby League (NRL) matches to Fiji will attract a lot of people because of the huge following of the sport.

Tuitubou confirmed receiving the Fiji National Rugby League’s (FNRL) proposal of getting two NRL matches to Fiji next year. However, Tuitubou said the green light had not been given to the FNRL.

“The Government wants a report from Fiji National Rugby League and I believe they have already presented their report to the cabinet,” he said.

“They have presented their proposal to bring two NRL matches to Fiji.

“The Government will look into it before they could say something. It has a huge following and we will benefit a lot economically and as a nation from those two matches if the matches are played in Fiji.”

FNRL chief executive officer, Timoci Naleba said there was an organisation and a group of people who wanted to bring the matches to Fiji without prior consultation from the national body — FNRL.

“We did put forward to have two NRL games in Fiji which were submitted before the budget consultations.

“The FNRL is also working with our counterparts in Australia,” he said.

“There are so many parties who want to bring these types of games to Fiji and there were some people who wanted to go without the approval of the FNRL, but it is very important and it has been discussed with the NRL for us to get the maximum benefits of having the games in Fiji, it is important that the matches are organised by FNRL.

Naleba said they wanted to ensure the rugby league was not used to serve the interest of people who made money from such matches.

“There has been an understanding between FNRL and NRL that bringing NRL matches must go through the national body. We have been reliably informed that there had been talks going on,” he said.

“I have discussed with the NRL in Australia and the agreement was that no NRL clubs in Australia will have to come and do things in Fiji without going through FNRL.”

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