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
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September