​Fiji pledges to regain IRB funding

January 13, 2014 - 10:47:17 am

SUVA: Fiji’s cash-strapped rugby union pledged yesterday to be back on side with the International Rugby Board in four months after its World Cup plans were hit when all financial aid was cut.

The IRB announced on Saturday it had axed all direct financial support because Fiji rugby bosses had failed to implement recommended measures to address “significant concerns regarding the administration and governance of the union”. 

But the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) responded by saying it was dealing with the issues and would still go to the IRB for money if it needed to.

“Please note that all these issues were inherited by this current FRU board and the board expects to clear up all these issues by end of May 2014,” the FRU said in a statement. 

The FRU said it had so far used £200,000 ($329,000) of a £250,000 grant towards its 2015 World Cup campaign. 

“The FRU Board will only ask for the further funding from IRB only if absolutely necessary or not at all, and reserve this funding for our World Cup preparations.

“To alleviate the financial crisis the FRU board is currently working on fundraising activities, approaching several sponsors and the Fiji government through the Fiji Sports Commission to assist the FRU.” 

Although £50,000 remained in the World Cup kitty, Fiji coach Inoke Male said “more funds from the IRB would have to be good for Fiji”. 

The IRB said it had committed “1.1 million pounds in direct funding to the FRU in 2013 and significant additional financial assistance to participate in international tournaments in 2013”.