So what in the blue hell is going on with the Fiji Rugby Union? According to a story coming out of the island nation, the new military leadership of Fiji has demanded that the head honchos of Fiji’s Rugby Union (FRU) resign if they want the cash to prepare for and attend this year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
The story reports that the FRU somehow… “misplaced” over $155,000 (Fijian dollars) that were raised in an improperly run lottery. That money was spent on various things, including sending one FRU official to last year’s Hong Kong Sevens Tournament.
If this does not get resolved soon this could cause problems that would reverberate around the Rugby Universe, as the IRB would then have to quickly determine a team to replace the Fijians – and how would they choose? The next highest team in Fiji’s qualifying pool? The first team in the IRB rankings that didn’t qualify?
Due to an internal governmental crisis, including a reported suspension of the nation’s constitution, Fiji had already been denied a chance to play at this year’s Commonwealth Games in India. For Fiji to miss the Rugby World Cup would probably crush the hopes of those athletes playing on the team, as well as wound the honor of the nation. And the spectators of the 2011 Rugby World Cup would miss out on the exciting, open and flowing style of rugby that Fiji is famous for.
According to the story, the acting Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, is a big fan of the world’s greatest game, even going so far as to wait to lead the 2006 overthrow of the government until the yearly match between the police and army had been played.