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No Hiccups

Fiji Rugby Union warns dissident referees   Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer, John O’Connor thanked referees that came out yesterday to officiate at their respective club games, secondary school
17 Jul 2016 12:20
No Hiccups
Actions from the Skipper Cup match between Namosi and Northland at Thompson park yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Fiji Rugby Union warns dissident referees

 

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer, John O’Connor thanked referees that came out yesterday to officiate at their respective club games, secondary school zone competitions, primary school and the Skipper Cup.

He said all Skipper Cup round 10 matches and secondary schools zone finals went ahead without any disruption.

“Majority of the club games in their respective provinces also proceeded without any interruptions despite the selfish call and threats by Samisoni Savukimoala that all referees should not participate in this weekend’s rugby matches,” O’Connor said.

He indicated that Savukimoala and his group, backed by a lawyer and a disgruntled FRU staff member, are believed to be behind the move to “hold rugby to ransom.”

“And by doing this they are preventing some of our innocent, young and upcoming referees from officiating in this weekend’s matches. Their self-centred motive has failed badly and is a slap in their face, reflected in the huge turnout of referees to officiate this weekend.”

O’Connor said Savukimoala and his cohorts failed miserably to understand the aspirations of the majority of referees who have rugby at heart and are highly supportive of the transformation at FRU.

He also expressed appreciation to the unions in having good relationship with their respective affiliated referees associations. All referee’s association are affiliated to their respective unions who in turn are affiliated to FRU.

O’Connor said they cannot afford to have separate bodies managing the affairs of rugby in the country.

He pointed out that FRU does not recognise the proposed Rugby Referees of Fiji Association (RROFA).

“I want to remind them that rugby belongs to the people of this country and FRU is mandated to manage the affairs of rugby in the country. FRU only recognises Fiji Rugby Referees Association (FRRA) which is an affiliate of FRU like all other union members who make up the FRU council,” he said.

“It has also been the suspicion that the establishment of a new association were to bring about division and infighting in the rugby family. This has reared its ugly head with the call of the strike action at an important time for Rugby when we are about to name our sevens teams to Rio, in the important rounds for the Skipper Cup and likewise during the final of the secondary school competitions.

“Parents, school and students have invested a lot in their preparation and it is disappointing that they have been targeted.”

O’Connor said the disgruntled group claimed that they represent members of the association they have established, but the FRU has not been provided any details of any membership.

“FRU is calling all young and upcoming referee’s not to be duped by this group. Surprisingly they tried to use a different name. We are giving these entire referees a chance to redeem themselves by getting involved in their respective unions next week.”

O’Connor confirmed that the group has no power or authority to suspend any referee.

“FRU will also seek the assistance of the Ministry of Education since there are several teachers who are also involved in group. FRU will continue to work with all the unions to register all the referees in Fiji and likewise address the issues in relation to their development, pathways and welfare.”

O’Connor said its best for Savukimoala to focus on his work at FEA and leave the affairs of rugby to FRU. Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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