SPORTS

FRU Disappointed, Decided To Play With Clean Jerseys

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor is disappointed that they were not able to honor the wishes of their sponsors after some players had expressed concern about having the Vaccinate Fiji message
11 Jul 2021 13:27
FRU Disappointed, Decided To Play With Clean Jerseys
John Dyer in action during the Flying Fijians vs All Blacks test match in Dunedin, New Zealand on Saturday July 10, 2021. The Kiwis won 57-23.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor is disappointed that they were not able to honor the wishes of their sponsors after some players had expressed concern about having the Vaccinate Fiji message on the playing jerseys.

Last night the Flying Fijians wore a clean jersey in a physical encounter against the All Blacks in Dunedin, New Zealand.  This was contrary to a Fiji Rugby announcement on Friday.

In an after match interview, Flying Fijians Coach Vern Cotter said players were not properly consulted and they had little time to resolve a rather ‘complex’ issue.

Mr O’Connor acknowledged that the players had expressed concern about having the Vaccinate Fiji message on the playing jerseys.

“In order to accommodate those concerns and not compromise our focus on a respectable performance, we decided to play with clean jerseys.”

Mr O’Connor said they would discuss those concerns in coming days with the playing group and with Fiji Airways, and decide how best to promote the Vaccinate Fiji message in next week’s Test match.

“We  are proud of the performance of the team and expect a better feat in Hamilton next week,” the FRU boss said.

Earlier on Friday, FRU had released the following statement said:  “The Fiji Rugby Union and major Sponsors Fiji Airways have unveiled a ‘Flying Fijians’ special jersey with an important COVID-19 advisory for the historic two-match series against the All Blacks. The front of the jersey will feature a simple message urging all Fijians to vaccinate to protect against the harmful effects of COVID-19.

jersey

“We are playing this historic test against the All Blacks, the first in 10 years, as our nation battles a devastating second wave of COVID-19. Both Fiji Rugby and our biggest partners Fiji Airways recognise that our responsibility towards the wellbeing of the Fijian people extends beyond the pitch. We are humbled and delighted that our National Airline has given up their prime ‘front of jersey’ space in this test series for the greater good, replacing their own brand with the message: ‘Vaccinate Fiji’.

 



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