27 May 2005

Fiji government bails out Rugby Union

4:41 pm on 27 May 2005

The Fiji government has agreed to inject 720,000 US dollars of taxpayers money to keep the Fiji Rugby Union afloat.

The money was agreed to today as the national coach, Wayne Pivac, threatened to resign because he did not have the resources to prepare the national team for their matches against the New Zealand Maori and the All Blacks.

The state grant is equivalent to the Fiji Rugby Union's loss for last year.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told Radio Legend that the cabinet has agreed to deploy the money from the existing budget to the sports ministry to help the FRU.

Mr Qarase says they will also consider having a government representative on the FRU board as rugby is a global sport and the country gets good mileage from it around the world.

A report earlier today said some hotels were Suva hotels were refusing to accommodate the national team and bus companies were refusing to transport them because of unpaid debts.

Last week, the acting chief executive of the FRU, Derek Samson, resigned because of the financial crisis facing the union.