SPORTS

Sponsors Not Franchise: Tuitubou

  The concept of franchise shouldn’t be linked to the Vodafone Fijian national 7s team as they are jewels in our crown. The comment was made by the Minister for
23 Mar 2017 11:00
Sponsors Not Franchise: Tuitubou
Minister for Youth and Sport Laisenia Tuitubou.

 

The concept of franchise shouldn’t be linked to the Vodafone Fijian national 7s team as they are jewels in our crown.

The comment was made by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou in Parliament yesterday.

He said such concepts were only linked to renowned international companies like McDonald’s or Starbucks.

Tuitubou was responding to question posed by Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa who asked if there were plans to franchise our national sevens team.

Tuitubou said; “There are currently no national 7s teams that operate as a franchise in the World Sevens Series.”

He said the issue was raised in the media by former national coaches.

Tuitubou said Fiji had a small economy and a great sevens team.

“We need international sponsors to support our rugby because we do well on the international stage.

“This would reaffirm that we punch way above our weight against better resourced and professional teams,” he said.

The first step for the Fiji Rugby Union, Tuitubou said, was to continue putting in place its governance reforms and to ensure its financial sustainability.

“We need to ensure that the brand is clean, successful and recognised across the world.

“Our men’s 7s team can tick those boxes and we hope that soon, the men’s and women’s 15s and Telecom Fijiana are able to do this,” Tuitubou said.

He said the Government through his ministry vow to support the FRU in the approach.

However, Tuitubou said all decisions would depend on FRU

“The decision will be taken in consultation with FRU and World Rugby but till then, the 7s rugby team will not become a franchise, as it is currently not possible,” he said.

Opposition MP, Mosese Bulitavo said our men’s team should be taken seriously since we are the Olympic champions.

 

Fijiana Coach Pay Queried

Telecom Fijiana coach Iliesa Tanivula salary was queried in Parliament yesterday by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka.

Gavoka asked why Tanivula didn’t have a fixed pay.

Tuitubou said Gavoka should have known better because he once was a former chairman of the FRU.

Tuitubou confirmed Tanivula had an employment contract with the FRU.

Government MP, Samuela Vunivalu then asked if the Telecom Fijiana players were contracted.

Tuitubou said they were only paid allowances.

“But I am sure the FRU is actively seeking funding to pay them as they do for the men,” he said

Edited by Osea Bola

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