SPORTS

Carlson Pays Tribute To Fallen Friend

"Carlson arrived into the country last Tuesday for work but prior to his arrival he had notified the late Musunamasi through emails about his arrival but was wonder­ing why he didn’t receive any reply or phone call when he checked into his hotel in Suva."
05 May 2019 01:10
Carlson Pays Tribute To Fallen Friend
From left: Cook Islands Rugby League president and Asia Pacific Rugby League board member Charles Carlson with former FNRL general manager Tomi Finau at the Fiji SUN office, Suva on May 3,2019. Photo: Anasilini Natoga

Cook Islands Rugby League president and Asia Pacific Rugby League board mem­ber Charles Carlson believes Peni Musunamasi’s passing is a huge loss in the Pacific region.

Carlson arrived into the country last Tuesday for work but prior to his arrival he had notified the late Musunamasi through emails about his arrival but was wonder­ing why he didn’t receive any reply or phone call when he checked into his hotel in Suva.

He only found out a day later that his best friend was no more.

“I’ve known Peni for the last 12 years through work and rugby league,” he said.

“Peni has been one of the driving forces in the establishment of rug­by league in the region.

“Asia Pacific Rugby League was established and Peni was one of the board members and he was one of the first representative of Asia Pacific Rugby League onto the In­ternational Rugby League Federa­tion prior to that we did not have any reps from Asia Pacific. Peni was one of the first reps from the Pacific to the International board,” Carlson said.

“I know Peni is always passionate about rugby league across the Pa­cific. Every time I come to Fiji we always catch up.

“His passing away is certainly a huge loss for us in the region.

“From the Asia Pacific Rugby League board and also the Rugby League International Federation our condolences to a colleague who was really passionate about rugby league not only to Fiji but regional and also internationally.

“It’s a huge loss for us. He’s done a lot for Fiji, he poured his heart out for Fiji and to see where Fiji is at now is a testimony to hiswork.

“Anytime Peni comes to Cooks I look after him he often stays at my place and when I come over here, he host me a dinner with a rest of the board members.

“He really makes me comfortable and welcome here in Fiji, I always look forward to my rugby league friend when I come to Suva, even though I’m here for work purposes.

“I remember there was a time when we tried to push several is­sues to the International Rugby League Federation and Peni round­ed us off, telling us to be strategic in our approach so it can be heard.

“That time we have rugby league governed by Australia, New Zea­land and England but we lobbied and got one to be a member in the board.

“I take my hat off for Peni driv­ing us in those early days trying to make sure that our voices are heard at the region and interna­tional level as level.”

Musunamasi will be laid to rest on Thursday. The funeral service will be conducted at the FMF National Gymnasium.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj



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