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Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 7:42 pm
by willow
Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce
AAP - FEBRUARY 7, 20184:52PM

FIJI captain Kevin Naiqama has called for the Fiji National Rugby League board to be voted out and reiterated the players will boycott until they get their World Cup prize money.

FIJI captain Kevin Naiqama has called for the Fiji National Rugby League board to be voted out and reiterated the players will boycott until they get their World Cup prize money.

Naiqama blasted the current regime as “unprofessional” as he opened up on the players’ discontent over passport, visa and payment issues during last year’s tournament.

He revealed how the squad’s player manager was sacked, while the passports of Ashton Sims, Korbin Sims and coach Mick Potter were lost — all in the first week of camp.

Forward Viliame Kikau was also close to missing their semi-final defeat to Australia after being stuck in New Zealand due to an expired visa.

“It was really unprofessional and it’s always been like that within the FNRL. For rugby league to go forward in Fiji, the current FNRL leadership cannot be in charge,” Naiqama told AAP.

“What we experienced was not good enough, and we’ve come to an agreement as a playing group that we will stand down from any Fiji Bati Tests until we get paid.”

The players’ biggest gripe is over the late transfers of $35 allowances provided by the tournament that were believed to be topped up by the FNRL. Naiqama claimed the delayed payments lasted the entire campaign, and almost forced the squad to pull out of an appearance before the Fijian High Commission in Canberra.

It was only a last-ditch meeting with the Bati’s leadership group — involving NRL stars Jarryd Hayne, Akuila Uate and Api Koroisau — that prevented a possible revolt.

“That would’ve looked really bad,” Naiqama said.

But it is the failure to pass on the $125,000 prize money from reaching the semi-finals that was the final straw for the playing group, and Naiqama said the players’ demanded change.

“There was a contract we signed that has everything in black-and-white. They were happy to give us 100 per cent of the prize money and it’s something we have not received,” he said.

“We had countless meetings with (CEO) Timoci Naleba and (chairman) Filimoni Vosarogo which we thought went really well, but ended up as blatant lies.”

Naiqama said the group’s main concern was for the non-full-time players.

“One day we actually called the FNRL office and they said the lady that was supposed to pay it didn’t want to turn up that day to put the money into the accounts,” he said.

“The players in the squad, not many of them are on full-time contracts. Some are called to support for their families and were relying on that money.”

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 8:20 pm
by innsaneink
I wonder where the moola is

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 9:36 pm
by happy tiger
innsaneink wrote:
Wed 07 Feb, 2018 8:20 pm
I wonder where the moola is
Probably sitting in some Fijian's General's bank account

Wonderful people the Fijians , but can have some of the most corrupt leaders unfortunately

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 10:14 pm
by Tiger Steve
I lived in PNG for many years. This is not unusual or surprising. Take note NRL - expansion to the Pacific Islands will need extremely thorough governance

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 10:44 pm
by Tiger Watto
Such a shame for these boys... They did there part, time for the JNRL to pay up.

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 7:59 am
by Geo.
Fire up Kevvy...

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 10:53 am
by Balmain Boy
The players were getting 100% of the prize money? That seems a massive oversight from the FNRL. Surely they need a % to re-invest in local grass roots development.
But the players certainly should get paid, and if the contract was agreed then the FNRL don't have a leg to stand on. Incredibly poor management by them.

Put Petero in charge. He'd do a great job for them!

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 10:58 am
by jadtiger
Sad story but unfortunately it is stories like this which explains the large indian influence in the business area in Fiji,because indians are far more on the ball than fijians

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 12:17 pm
by colmcd
jadtiger wrote:
Thu 08 Feb, 2018 10:58 am
Sad story but unfortunately it is stories like this which explains the large indian influence in the business area in Fiji,because indians are far more on the ball than fijians
It just explains that FRNL don't have their admin together. Having lived in PNG I reckon their team would face something similar.

It's just a shame. It was so good to see those teams do what they needed to do. $125000 would mean a lot to those players.

Re: Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama blasts officials over Rugby League World Cup payment farce

Posted: Thu 08 Feb, 2018 1:32 pm
by Kip Drordy
Balmain Boy wrote:
Thu 08 Feb, 2018 10:53 am
The players were getting 100% of the prize money? That seems a massive oversight from the FNRL. Surely they need a % to re-invest in local grass roots development.
But the players certainly should get paid, and if the contract was agreed then the FNRL don't have a leg to stand on. Incredibly poor management by them.

Put Petero in charge. He'd do a great job for them!
$125000 between a squad of 25?? $5000 each. I hate to think the fiji board has wasted it on kava but some of the first graders in the squad should have agreed to donate their share back to grass roots in fiji anyway.