FRU remains mum on bribe claims
November 6, 2012 5:56 pm
The Fiji Rugby Union says it does not have any comments to make at this stage on claims that three Fijian players were ‘paid off’ to miss the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
And the International Rugby Board says it can only investigate any such claims, if there is a report filed with them.
This after The Independent newspaper in London has printed allegations made by former Racing Metro coach Simon Mannix.
Mannix claims the club paid Sireli Bobo, Jone Qovu and Josh Matavesi not to play for the Flying Fijians.
At the time, Bobo and Qovu cited personal reasons, while Matavesi had said he wanted to focus on club commitments, for missing out on playing for Fiji at the 2011 Pacific Nations Cup.
And this effectively ruled them out of the World Cup.
Fears now are that the 2015 World Cup risks to be devalued by European clubs preventing Fijian players from representing their nation.
Damien Hopley, the International Rugby Players’ Association chairman, says the IRB are aware of this practice.
Former Fiji fly half Nicky Little claims for many seasons, European and UK-based Islanders have either been blackmailed not to play for their countries, or had pay docked when they were with their national teams.