Updated: 01/12/2014 03:35 | By Agence France-Presse

IRB suspends Fiji funding over lack of reforms

The International Rugby Board announced Saturday that it had suspended all direct financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) with immediate effect because of concerns over the administration and governance of the Union.


IRB suspends Fiji funding over lack of reforms

The International Rugby Board announced Saturday that it had suspended all direct financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) with immediate effect because of concerns over the administration and governance of the Union

The suspension will hold "until the Union adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms", the IRB said in a statement.

"The decision was reluctantly made after the Union failed to implement recommended measures to provide assurances to the IRB that it was appropriately moving to address significant concerns regarding the administration and governance of the Union.

"The recommendations arose from an IRB Major Union Review which was conducted after the Union requested emergency financial assistance in May last year."

The IRB said it had committed "£1.1million in direct funding to the FRU in 2013 and significant additional financial assistance to participate in international tournaments in 2013".

It added that it had formally expressed concerns that the "financial position of the Union is unsustainable and could create instability and impact on the management of the Union and key IRB-funded development and high performance programmes".

The cash-strapped FRU this week admitted it was struggling to pay the salary of high-profile Sevens coach Ben Ryan, forcing him to work voluntarily for three months.

The Englishman's appointment was announced with much fanfare in September, when he was charged with improving the skilful but inconsistent islanders ahead of Sevens' Olympic debut in 2016.

However, Ryan said "not a penny" of his salary had been paid and he was living off his savings, including covering the cost of flights home to see his family over the festive season.

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