International Rugby Board suspends funding to Fiji

Suva (Fiji), Jan 12: The International Rugby Board (IRB) will suspend all direct financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) with immediate effect until Fiji adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms.

The decision was made after the FRU failed to implement recommended measures to provide assurances to IRB that it was appropriately moving to address significant concerns regarding the administration and governance of the union, reports Xinhua.

The recommendations arose from an IRB major union review which was conducted after the union requested emergency financial assistance in May 2013. The IRB has also expressed concerns that the financial position of the FRU is unsustainable and could create instability and impact on key IRB-funded development and high performance programmes.

The IRB committed some $1.74 million in direct funding to FRU in 2013 and significant additional financial assistance to participate in international tournaments.

Despite the funding suspension, the IRB confirmed Sunday that it will remain committed to rugby in Fiji, on the performance of the men’s and women’s national 15s and 7s teams and will work closely with the FRU to ensure that all administration and governance reforms are delivered and funding is reinstated.