SPORTS

Fiji, Samoa, Tonga Meet

Samoa Prime Minister and Samoa Rugby Union chairman Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi strongly believes that it is time for the three island nations – Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to work
19 Nov 2014 07:57
Fiji, Samoa, Tonga Meet
Vodafone Flying Fijians centre Vereniki Goneva in action against Wales on Sunday. Photo: Ian Muir

Samoa Prime Minister and Samoa Rugby Union chairman Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi strongly believes that it is time for the three island nations – Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to work together to get a fair deal.

Speaking to SUNsports last night  at Nausori International Airport, Tuilaepa confirmed he would be meeting with Tonga and Fiji rugby unions this week to discuss issues which should be raised to the International Rugby Board.

One main issue which the three unions would be discussing is the eligibility of players.

“As chairman of Samoa Rugby Union we have agreed with my fellow chairman of Tonga Rugby Union and Fiji Rugby Union to meet this week and the three unions to get together and plan strategies for the future,

“We also have to work together for the welfare of our players, especially the eligibility rules which is affecting the rights of island players. Fiji, Tonga and Samoa players face the same problem,”  he said.

“All players want to be paid high allowances, but our unions are poor. The governments of the three nations are doing well and concentrating on all sports on top of the enormous social economic obligations they are trying to raise welfare of the people.”

Tuilaepa said the three nations had not been receiving fair treatment from IRB.

He called for an end to the North-South divide in rugby which he said had blighted the administration of the game in the professional era.

He strongly believes the island unions need to have a strong voice on what he claims the  IRB corrupted practices.

“ It’s not fair. We are not given enough money. We need to be given sufficient by IRB. What we getting is just peanuts, yet we are called to honor the programme of international matches that are costing the unions well beyond the financial capacity of the three unions.

“Other issues is governance, the most telling one is for every country to send in one team and Great Britain sends in four. That is outrageous and corrupt. That means in any meeting of the IRB, there is four extra votes, so our unions from the Pacific are perpetually outvoted,” he said.

Tuilaepa said neighbouring countries New Zealand and Australia were not helping the island countries when it comes to eligibility rules.

“Although they give us help but they do not help us when it comes to eligibility rules.”

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.




Valentine Promo Poster


Fijisun E-edition
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper