SPORTS

FRU Voices Concern Over Rugby Agents

The Fiji Rugby Union is working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to ensure that all rugby agents both
16 Mar 2016 14:49
FRU Voices Concern  Over Rugby Agents
fijisun.com.fj

The Fiji Rugby Union is working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to ensure that all rugby agents both local and international are registered businesses in Fiji and also with Fiji Rugby Union.

Stakeholders including the FRU are concerned that some agents have been continuously poaching local rugby players, including school children without legally complying with the laws of the country. This resulted in players missing out on financial security, family welfare and player well-being including proper insurance coverage.

Concerns have been raised over players who are being recruited into overseas clubs without proper visa documents or rugby players contracts. This does not allow them to earn money whilst playing rugby as an outcome of being hoodwinked by unscrupulous agents who are not really concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of the players but their own interests.

FRU chief executive officer, John O’Connor said the welfare of any Fijian rugby player playing locally or internationally remains a priority for FRU.
“FRU in co-ordination with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will work hard to ensure there is a framework that will regulate the industry,” he said.

“We need to look after these players no matter which country they play in.  We often hear stories of our rugby players working low wage jobs, or overstaying because of the unfavourable conditions given to them.”

“By ensuring that the rugby agents are registered and licensed, this will guarantee that the players are offered proper contracts which are vetted by the Ministry of Labour ensuring that the players are well looked after prior to taking up overseas contracts.”

O’Connor also mentioned that they were not trying to discourage the players from signing overseas contracts.

“We just want to make sure that they get the right advice from registered agents and are given contracts which safeguard their welfare while they are overseas.”

He added that with the support of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, they hope to put in place a system and a framework that would need to be followed by agents and the rugby players before they take up their overseas contracts.

O’Connor also urged parents to consult FRU when they receive offers for rugby scholarships or playing contracts.

“We will endeavour to create an updated register of all our players playing rugby overseas either through sponsorship or playing contracts. And will keep in touch with these players through their registered agents to ensure that their welfare and well-being is looked after.”

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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