Fiji Rugby Union posts $700,000 loss

The Fiji  Rugby Union posted a 700,000 Fiji dollars ($313,000) loss in the last financial year, despite a cash injection of more than F$2 million (US$900,000) from the International Rugby Board, the Fiji Times reported Wednesday.

The union blames the loss, which follows a F$334,712 deficit in the 2007-08 financial year, on a lack of major sponsorship and government backing, the newspaper said.


The financial result was the union’s worst since 2000 when it lost almost F$900,000 ($403,000).

The loss of the Fiji national team’s major sponsor, Flour Mills of Fiji, forced the Fiji union to fund the team from its own reserves, Union chief executive Keni Dakuidreketi told the Times.

“We are a non-profit organization and are (engaged) in delivering a service,” Dakuidreketi said.

“We get funding from IRB and the sponsors to run the union.

“Without the sponsor, it is hard and while it is not an excuse, we have to understand that revenue is important.”


The accounts will be tabled at the union’s annual meeting on Saturday.


Union president Ro Filipe Tuisawau, who will chair the meeting, said he will call for changes to the current board of directors.

He said existing board members should be ready to answer questions about the union’s financial state.

“I want to ensure that and there can’t be any excuses made,” Tuisawau said.

Dakuidrekti said he was prepared to face questioning.

“We have not done any wrong,” he said.

The International rugby Board injected more than F$2.2 million (US$990,000) last year in the form of high performance and other grants, the Times said.

The political upheaval in Fiji is expected to cause more problems for the rugby union.

The U.N. Security Council has demanded the restoration of democracy and fair elections.

Fiji’s military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a coup more than two years ago, has refused to hold elections until 2014, despite an April court ruling that declared his government illegal.


He dismissed all the nation’s judges after the Court of Appeals ruling.

Bainimarama has said he will not restore democracy until he has rewritten the constitution and electoral laws.


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