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Referees’ Boycott Delays Kaji Rugby finals

The final of the Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby competition was delayed because of referees boycotting the tournament yesterday at the ANZ Stadium, Suva. As a result, the U14 finals between
21 Aug 2015 09:50
Referees’ Boycott Delays Kaji Rugby finals
Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby competition was delayed because of referees boycotting the tournament.

The final of the Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby competition was delayed because of referees boycotting the tournament yesterday at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

As a result, the U14 finals between Suva Whites and Cakaudrove were forced to be played at Buckhurst Ground because the Vodafone Flying Fijians had booked the ANZ Stadium for their training session.

Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby referee co-ordinator Aporosa Bole said the reason for the boycott was that referees were making a stand about their pay arrangements.

“The referees were not happy about the pay,” he said.

“The understanding we have is the referees were supposed to be given their pay before the quarterfinals of the Rewa Galaxy Kaji Rugby competition.

“We managed to complete the quarterfinals and went into the semifinals because we felt sorry for the kids. Before the finals, all the referees agreed they were going to boycott the rest of the tournament because of the pay.

“They persuaded the boys to continue with the game while we waited for the money. But most of these referees, the fear they have is that at the end of the day they were not going to get what was promised to them.

“In my case, I was in a very tight position. I’m a school teacher and one of the executives for the Fiji Primary Schools Rugby and also the referee co-ordinator. We tried our best to get the referees to continue with the game but it was a collective decision by the referees.

“Normally, the referees are paid one or two weeks after the tournament because we need to take into account the gate-takings and for the executives to work out all the expenses.

“But the referees told me that they cannot let this continue and they were making their stand. But everything was sorted and payment was made.”

Sponsors for the tournament, CJ Patel Group had given the money to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) which was supposed to be given to the Fiji Kaji Rugby Association.

Fiji Kaji Rugby Association president Joji Seruiratu said they do not understand the new payment system.

“It was unfortunate these things happened before FRU gave us the money in cash but with this new system in place, now the money given by sponsors CJ Patel Group to FRU will be deposited into a bank account,” Seruiratu said.

“This new system is not workable for us and FRU did not have the courtesy to explain to us about this new system, if the money was given to us in cash we would have paid everything from the referees to the venue and transport.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer Radrodro Tabualevu said the introduction of the new system is to minimise the handling of cash.

“We have introduced this new system because at the end of the day we have to verify to the sponsors how the money has been used,” Tabualevu said.

“And giving out cash makes it harder for us to acquit. What the association needs to do is just provide a budget, send it to us and tell us what needs to be paid and when.

“Our finance department has been working closely with the treasurer and Union executives regarding this new system but what happened today (yesterday) was very disappointing.”

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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