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EDITORIAL: Possible Solution: Act Immediately, Negotiate With Players, Stop Tarnishing The Reputation

There seems to be no solution on the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) payment dispute between the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) and the overseas-based Fijian Bati players. Bati captain
26 Feb 2018 10:23
EDITORIAL: Possible Solution: Act Immediately, Negotiate With Players, Stop Tarnishing The Reputation
Kevin Naiqama

There seems to be no solution on the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) payment dispute between the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) and the overseas-based Fijian Bati players.

Bati captain Kevin Naiqama has been continuous­ly going to the Australian media and sending video interviews, where he’s voicing the players’ griev­ances.

Mr Naiqama has even gone further by:

n Issuing a threat of a possible boycott by the over­seas-based players from playing for the Fijian Bati in any international engagements

n And lately, called on the FNRL board of directors to step down.

FNRL chief executive officer Timoci Naleba, has time and again reminded Mr Naiqama and the play­ers that they are not responsible for the process of the payout.

He pointed out that it was the players who had de­manded that FNRL should not be involved with any­thing regarding the RLWC payment.

“Not a single cent from the RLWC is here with us. All those money are with the NRL and the RLWC,” Mr Naleba said.

In a statement, Rugby League International Fed­eration (RLIF) regional development manager Tas Baiteri has confirmed that the players have not been paid.

This, he said, is because it is not a simple exercise to distribute the prize money that everybody wants as there are regulations in place that they need to abide with.

Once it is done, then the players can receive their money.

This did not solve the issue as Mr Naiqama, who claims to be speaking on behalf of the overseas-based players, has continued with his attacks.

It’s now time for the FNRL board of directors to put a stop to the matter.

They need to come up with a decision on how best they are going to tackle it.

One possible solution is to call in Mr Naiqama, and if possible, the players who are with him, to sort out the matter.

Failing to act on it immediately will only tarnish the reputation of FNRL and the hard work and sacrifice put in by former board members, officials and players. These were the people who were there from the start in 1992 where they shed blood, sweat, and tears and many times had to dig deep into their pockets in order to keep the sport going.

Again, there is no turning back and the onus is now on Mr Naleba and the FNRL board of directors to come with a solution on how they are going to put an end to all of this.

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