IRB suspends Fiji funding
January 11, 2014
There is little to celebrate off the field for Fiji currently © Getty Images
The International Rugby Board has suspended funding to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) after a failure to address concerns over administration and governance with immediate effect.
Last year the IRB committed £1.1 million in direct funding to Fiji, as well as significant financial assistance to participate in international tournaments in 2013. Earlier this week it was revealed that Sevens coach Ben Ryan is yet to be paid by the Fiji Rugby Union.
In a statement the IRB stated its belief that the current financial model is "unsustainable" and could impact on 'key IRB-funded development and high performance programmes'. Last May the IRB conducted a Major Union Review after the FRU requested emergency financial assistance.
The funding will remain suspended until the union adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms.
An IRB statement said: "The decision was reluctantly made after the Union failed to implement recommended measures to provide assurances to the IRB that it was appropriately moving to address significant concerns regarding the administration and governance of the Union.
"The recommendations arose from an IRB Major Union Review which was conducted after the Union requested emergency financial assistance in May last year.
"The IRB remains committed to Rugby in Fiji and the performance of the men's and women's national Fifteens and Sevens teams and will work closely with FORU and the FRU to ensure that all administration and governance reforms are delivered and funding is reinstated."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park