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By Lee Stace

YOU'VE GOT to love Fiji rugby at the moment.

Not only does the Fiji Rugby Union have a battle on its hands with the New Zealand Government over political sanctions, but now it does not have enough moolah to even send a team to the Rugby World Cup later this year.

For those who missed it, the Pacific Island nation needs F$5 million to properly prepare a 30-man squad for the seven-week tournament. The 2007 RWC quarter-finalists also have no major sponsor.

But hang on. Didn’t Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s military-led regime promise the FRU a funding package of F$3 million, provided it sacked the previous board, which had been in dispute with the country’s leaders over the mismanagement of a RWC lottery?

He most certainly did. And you’d think with all his military cronies now calling the shots at the FRU since its April 30 board meeting, the money would’ve been deposited into its account and everything would be chipper.

Well, that hasn’t exactly happened. The military regime approved the release of the first F$400,000 from the promised fund, but it remains unclear whether the union has received the money or if the remainder will be paid.

There is also the money raised from the lottery.

An investigation by the Fiji Commerce Commission earlier this year found nearly half the funds were unaccounted for. Some of the money is believed to have be spent by previous FRU board members to attend sevens tournaments in Hong Kong and Scotland.

Whatever way you look at it, Fiji rugby is boarding on comical at the moment. So much so that the International Rugby Board must be seriously considering showing them the door.

What do you think? Is Fiji becoming the laughing stock of world rugby?

Posted Comments

RugbyIsMyReligion
It is a sad state that Fiji Rugby and Fiji as a whole is in!! Even more sad is the fact the both the illegal military regime and the NZ govt. are using the only thing that unites Fijians as a political tool. We are becoming the laughing stock of world rugby, it's extremely sad that a country that has produced some world class players and an exciting brand of rugby has to suffer from mismanagement at every level!!! Fiji rugby will always be in my heart and I hope that they can prove the critics wrong this year!!!
Wise
Off course NZ is always scared of Fiji,we almot beat them in a test in Fiji on their last stopover and that is why from then on they have never ventured to come to Fiji again.NZ wont be winning this years world cup thats for sure
Josefa leko
yea I know nz will find it funny ,I dont know what they have against Fiji ,they always very fast in critising Fiji ,Why are they always jealouse of Fiji,they dont do that to Tonga or Samoa ,its only Fiji. New Zealand should allow all Fijian players come to play rugby during the world cup forget about the coup ,lets just play rugby man .Is New Zealand scared of Fiji or what ,let them come .
Shah Sahari
1999? They beat Wales and almost beat South Africa at the last World Cup! Pound for pound, the Pacific Islands nations are undoubtedly the best rugby-playing countries on earth. Pity they don't have the money to organise themselves better, with camps, dietitians, fitness advisers etc. Is Bill Gates a rugby fan, by any chance?
Sairusi
This is NOT a laughing matter!! This indeed is very sad for Fijian fans. A country ravaged by storms, drought, racsim and not to mention that every Ratu's want to run and own the country. Rugby is the only sport that not only unites all the races living in Fiji but creates a bond internationally. FRU should wake up and so should Mr Holden Bananarama. Do not crush the dreams of us Fijian Fans for your political agenda's. This message is also aimed at NZ Government. Lets Go Nuts Fiji!!!! We can do it. Help us get through this!!
Stephen Yetman
I don't think it is a laughing matter with Fijian rugby, it is actually quite sad. Fiji once a very proud rugby nation (especially at sevens) who have provided a number of high-class players to the All Blacks is so poor it won't be able to prepare properly for the RWC. Who can forget the 1999 RWC when they nearly beat France in the quarter finals ? But if previous Fijian RFU Board members have mis-appropriated money some of the mess is of their own making.
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