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Tukana: Why I Did It?

Tukana: Why I Did It?
Kelera Domona cleaning up part of the new wing at the Lautoka Municipal Market on January 16, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers
September 11
13:13 2014

Fiji National Rugby League deputy chairman Kitione Tukana has defended his actions in signing on Australia-based Wise Kativerata as the new Vodafone Fiji Bati coach to replace Rick Stone.

In a press release yesterday, Tukana alleged that League chairman, Reverend Dr Immanuel Reuben, had directed him to prepare two contracts – one for Joeli Savou as operations manager and Kativerata for the coaching job.

“I had arrived into the country from the Four Nations playoff in Sydney and went to brief Rev Reuben about the outcome of my meeting with Tas Baiteri (Rugby League International Federation development officer,” Tukana said from Australia yesterday.

“I told Rev Reuben that Tas wanted us to appoint a headcoach and an office manager because they needed to liaise with them about funding and other operational matters.”

Tukana said since he was about to leave the country that week, he requested Rev Reuben if they could have an urgent board meeting where they could make the appointments since they (the board) had decided not to hire an expatriate coach.

“But then Rev Reuben said, “Since the two of us will have the last say in the board, then we will do it for the good of the organisation.” I then recommended the names of Joeli Savou and Wise Kativerata, which he (Rev Reuben) agreed to, and indicated that he will brief the board since I will be out of the country.”

Tukana said during their briefing, he had called Wise and they spoke to him about the appointment.

“I then went to the office and was assisted by one of the staff members in drawing up the contracts.

“After we had completed them, I then called Rev Reuben to inform him that I was bringing it over to him to sign just like what we had discussed, but he told me to sign the contracts since he was attending a funeral.”

Tukana indicated that when he returned from his overseas trip, he found that Savou was given the operations manager’s job while there was no appointment done on the coach’s job.

“I asked Rev Reuben why they hadn’t appointed Wise and his answer was that there was no money.”

When contacted Rev Reuben said the board placed an advertisement and there was no rush to appoint a coach because they had to wait for the interviews.

“I have no information about what Kitione is saying and I didn’t give any orders to sign a contract.

“I can’t give those orders because as an individual, I can’t make such a decision like that, it has to be a collective decision coming from the board.

“Wise must have signed a contract before the interview and if he, why did he come for the interview?” he said.

Kativereta in the meantime, revealed that he will seek legal action against the league.

Newly appointed coach Shane Morris is expected to be in Fiji tomorrow to be part of the Vodafone Cup finals.




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