SPORTS

Vodafone Hits Back

Vodafone Fiji has retaliated to Digicel’s public statements where it claimed to have made payments to the Vodafone 7s players under the guise of ex-gratia payment and a ‘mystery man’.
20 Nov 2014 12:28
Vodafone Hits Back
Seremaia Tuwai (right) and Vatemo Ravouvou during traning at the Uprising Resort ground. Photo: Jona Konataci

Vodafone Fiji has retaliated to Digicel’s public statements where it claimed to have made payments to the Vodafone 7s players under the guise of ex-gratia payment and a ‘mystery man’.

In a strong worded reply last night, Vodafone stated the claims were rather:

– Untimely

– Discourteous to the Fiji Rugby Union

– Disregards social responsibility

– Cheap ploy to disrupt and sabotage strenuous preparations by our national 7s team towards the Dubai 7s tournament, IRB tournaments and the 2016 Olympic Games.

“ We wonder how FRCA (Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority) will treat such mysterious payments through a mysterious person?  We are sure they would be interested to unravel the mystery as well,” stated Vodafone’s press release.

“It is notable that the Fiji Rugby Union in its press release had clearly denied knowledge of the rugby players receiving any payment. This is unfortunately a very poor reflection on the corporate market and sporting bodies driven by sponsorships, which we conduct business in. Vodafone is of the opinion that it is a sign of a company resorting to desperate measures to promote its business.”

Vodafone stated it is regrettable that Digicel being aware of the existence of sponsorship contract between the Fiji Rugby Union and the Vodafone-led consortium of sponsors and individual contracts between the rugby players and the Fiji Rugby Union, by its latest move appears to be inducing breach of contractual obligations by the rugby players to the Fiji Rugby Union.

Vodafone and the consortium sponsors’ investment to Fiji rugby is substantially higher in value than what our predecessor sponsor gave to Fiji rugby. For the first time in the National 7s team’s history through the Vodafone and Fiji Airways sponsorship, 7s rugby players have been contracted as professional rugby players. This means the National 7s players will be paid annual salaries as professional rugby players, performance bonuses and other allowances to which they become entitled. The Vodafone- led consortium of sponsors’ support to the Fiji Rugby Union includes sponsorship assistance to all spheres of Fiji rugby including the National 15s, Kaji rugby, Under-18s, women’s rugby, provincial rugby, island zone and national 7s teams.

Vodafone is of the firm belief that if Digicel was really concerned about the development of sports in Fiji then it must provide much-needed support (in a legitimate manner) to other fledgling sporting bodies in the country that are in dire need of corporate sponsorship.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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