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Why Payment Was Late?

Why Payment Was Late?
Vodafone Fijian Bati players and officials to receive their World Cup payment on Friday. Photo: Zimbio
January 02
11:00 2018

FNRL chairperson reacts to social media attack on alleged false $$$ promises made to Bati players, officials during World Cup.  

Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) chairperson Filimoni Vosarogo said they accepted responsibility for the delay in payment of the Vodafone Fijian Bati players and officials that played at the Rugby League World Cup.

His reply came after a former Fijian resident Suliasi Daunitutu who is now resides in Australia took to social media in alleging that players felt that were duped as they claimed that bonus payments promised to them were not fulfilled.

Speaking to SUNsports on Sunday, Vosarogo said all payments should be sorted out by Friday.

“We will ensure that the payments are made within the first week of the New Year and we’ve liaised with the RLWC accounts personnel to see where the delay is,” he said.

Vosarogo clarified that the RLWC payment does not get transferred to their local back account but rather from the RLWC to the National Rugby League’s (NRL) account.

“No funds come to FNRL at all. We only managed the logistics of confirming with the RLWC our expenses and likes, and from there, we provide approval for disbursement to the players and officials personal accounts.”

Vosarogo confirmed that he had personally sent the approval for the payment on December 11, 2017, and a reminder on December 21.

“I have also advised some players and officials who I’ve met in the past two weeks and also seek for their forgiveness in the late process for payment.”



Vosarogo clarified they had discussed with their senior players that the negotiations for a $2000 payment for each player which they attributed as promises before departure had not been confirmed in their contracts.



Then, Vosarogo added, that disappointing turnout during the Tri-Nations friendly matches between Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea, resulted in huge financial loss. He admitted that this was basically due to the poor marketing of the event.

“This made it impossible for us to pay the players. The failure of the Tri Nations had to do with the marketing of the game and it’s something taken into the stride of learning for what can be done better next time.”



However, Vosarogo said despite the setback they agreed to top up payments for the players and officials to the RLWC.

This they did with the sponsors Vodafone Fiji and the Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC).

Vosarogo said for each player RLWC paid an allowance of $AUD30 (FJ$47.70) per day and they topped it up to $AUD100 (FJ$159) per day.

“Meaning that each week FNRL sends from Fiji equivalent of $AUD70 (FJ$111) per player per day for their weekly welfare,”

He said at times the request for approval from the Reserve Bank of Fiji to remit funds were late.

“So we face logistical problems of which Western Union branch would allow for withdrawals of more than FJ$60,000 equivalent at their branch. In some weeks, payments were made in two- one day after the other.”

Vosarogo said despite the inconsistency of the payment dates they strived in ensuring that each player received their $AUD700 (FJ$1113.01) at the end of each week.

“All the players got their $AUD700 weekly allowance. That is $AUD210 (FJ$333.90) from RLWC and $AUD 490 (FJ$770.10) from FNRL.”

He said they also gave an additional $AUD50 (FJ$79.50) to their $AUD70 (FJ$111.30) to the players for qualifying for the quarterfinals.

“Making our commitment to players of $AUD120 ($FJ190.80) and RLWC at $AUD30 ($FJ47.70), whereas for the semi-final, this was moved to $AUD200 (FJ$318), RLWC at $AUD30 AUD (FJ$47.70) and FNRL at $AUD170 (FJ$270.30).”



Vosarogo said the payment schedules and payment particulars had been forwarded to FNSC to be verified and recorded.



“As for the $200,000 attributed to the FNRL chief executive officer’s comments in the media, this was a payment from our sponsor Vodafone which only becomes payable if they had reached the final and win.”

Vosarogo said $100,000 was promised to the players for reaching and losing the final, but an additional $100,000 for winning the RLWC finals.

“The players knew that this was part of the challenge to excel and go one better than the two previous RLWC.”

However, he added that the $2000 that was given to the players at Albert Park, Suva was a goodwill gesture by Vodafone.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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