26 September, 2023, 10:03 pm Central - 22°C Rain

Opinion: Now to the important stuff !!!!

Opinion: Now to the important stuff !!!!

By Yellow Bucket
Saturday 03/06/2023

There has been much to discuss around the grog bowls of the nation but before we get on to the serious subjects of Government and Chiefs and multi-ethnic bonding, lets tackle the important stuff.

RUGBY……. There has over the last few months been much talk about the collapse of our national rugby body the FRU and who really are the culprits behind what seems to be a never-ending drama on at Rugby House on Gordon St.

For those new to the FRU, there isn’t anything particularly “new” to all of this. YB can’t recall a time when there weren’t “governance” issues lurking around our prized national game.

It became clear things weren’t right at Rugby House when word started to spread about difficulties they were having getting the quorum for their AGM.

Nothing “new” in that, there has been many a year when they’ve had to have several goes at getting this done and dusted, but this time there seemed to be more to the story.

Sure enough like so many “cupboard doors” that have been nailed shut over the last 16 years when this one was finally prized open, what appeared on the outside shiny and successful, was in fact rotten to the core.

Just how rotten is still to be established but if rumours are correct there is a substantial forensic accounting task at hand.

Suddenly, out of the blue, it was announced that the Attorney General was taking control and appointing a new board of trustees.

A dramatic step especially when dealing with an international sporting body like World Rugby who don’t, like FIFA and others, take kindly to domestic political interference.

Sure enough the announcement was made that World Rugby was suspending Fiji from its Council BUT it was allowing Fiji to continue to compete internationally and with the World Cup fast approaching that was a relief.

However, it didn’t stop the AG’s hate club launching into him on social media.

Despite several in depth “investigations” in various media there is still confusion as to what happened and who is the villain, so YB sent its sleuths out and they returned with a couple of interesting documents that helped explain just what happened and why.

Along with the general chaos and alleged skulduggery it seems that beneath it all there existed an issue with the legal validity of FRU’s key operating arm FRU PTE Ltd.

This company had been registered but no one could produce, when asked, a copy of minutes formally endorsing its formation therefore it didn’t legally exist.

Now this is the body that had signed all manner of contracts including we understand the agreement that established the Fijian Drua and that was just the start of the legal quagmire.

No wonder the previous board quickly resigned.

Fortunately, the FRFU Trust Board formed in 1997, at the time of a previous collapse, did exist and was properly registered..

This was fortunate because, as was proved in 2013 when the former AG took control of a defunct Trust, the current AG did have the powers to take control and appoint an interim board of trustees to try and sort everything out.

ANDDDD this had been explained and accepted by World Rugby who agreed to take control of the high-performance part of FRU i.e., the international teams, appropriate as they are paying most of the bills. The interim Trust would be tasked with establishing a legal entity with an independent board while the appointed administrator keeps the local rugby show on the road. All of this to be

monitored by World Rugby Board Council member (representing Oceania) Cathy Wong and respected Executive President Oceania National Olympic Committee Dr Robin Mitchell……. phew !

There is of course much to be revealed. Let’s hope out of this mess rises a rugby body that is properly governed and managed. Not sure we ‘ll be holding our breath on this one but you never know.

Toso Drua!!!

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
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