Sevens takes a hit, but Fiji safeguard Rugby World Cup bonuses

Fiji Rugby Union trustees board interim chairman Peter Maze has confirmed that while the investigation into the union’s financial troubles has seen debts of £1.2million (Fiji $3.5m) uncovered, preparations for the upcoming Rugby World Cup would not be aff

Mazey said the FRU had even budgeted for the Flying Fijians to reach the final of the tournament in France, but there was bad news of budget cuts for the double Olympic Games gold medal-winning sevens squad.

Speaking at a media conference at Rugby House, Mazey said: “We have only been here a month and there is so much work for us to do in getting everything here in order, so we are asking the people of Fiji to bear with us.

“We know that many of you have disliked us, or do not like us, but we are doing everything we can to get things in order.

“For the RWC, we are not looking at cost cutting – we are going to win. We have got bonuses budgeted if they get to the final. For HSBC sevens, we will work on budget cuts. It’s quite hard to send all our players into camps for long periods of time for camps held in tourist resorts which cost $25k a week. We can’t afford that.”

Mazey added that since the formation of the new trustee’s board, several issues had been uncovered with the debt level being their biggest concern. “We have to find a way to pay off our debts before we attend to anything else,” he said. “Having reported $1.7m in debt as of 2022, the level has doubled over the past few months.

“We believe much of this is because of the lack of proper budgeting or the following of budgets provided in almost area here at FRU. There are many things that have led to the spike in our debt level. It all goes back to accountability. Even to the smallest of things where funds have been wasted.”