“I think the issue of a board director present is one that this board was never consulted. Number two the person that was appointed was not agreed to. So it borders to what IRB dictated and the sovereignty of the FRU. So the FRU board’s stance is this, we should have the right to agree to a member of the board or observer and number two we should have the sovereign right to determine who it is.”
This is Dr Berlin Kafoa, of the Fiji School of Medicine, and board member and acting CEO of the Fiji Rugby Union, explaining the FRU’s decision not to agree to the demands of the International Rugby Board to appoint an IRB-selected board member because of the issue of ‘sovereignty’ which has led to the suspension of F$3.3m of annual funding.
There will be many who might agree with the FRU’s position.
But if the FRU board is set on confronting the IRB to protect their sovereignty with respect to an international stakeholder like the IRB, why have they not come clean to the media about the sovereignty given up to the military regime of Frank Bainimarama?
1. Will Rugby House categorically confirm or deny that the Board’s recommendation of Jeremy Duxbury as chief executive was run past Bainimarama before Christmas even though, according to Dr Kafoa, the FRU should maintain ‘the sovereign right to determine’ FRU appointments?
2. Why was the Board’s recommendation of Jeremy Duxbury run past Bainimarama, when Bainimarama’s own nominee to the board had also agreed to the Duxbury recommendation?
3. Would the Board confirm that Bainimarama rejected Jeremy Duxbury as CEO, and why?
4. Did the Prime Minister’s Office contact other potential CEO candidates after Christmas, was this approved and minuted by the FRU and on whose authority within the FRU was this headhunting done?
5. Would the FRU like to retract or amend any of its previous statements that there is no government interference in the running of Fiji rugby?