10 Jan 2011

Fiji government asks rugby board to resign over misuse of funds

5:40 pm on 10 January 2011

The interim government in Fiji has asked the board and executives of the Fiji Rugby Union to resign and for a new administration to be put into place.

The Fiji Village website reports this follows findings by the Commerce Commission that the union had misused the funds of its lottery tickets sales.

The Commission findings allege that at the end of last year the balance shown on the FRU lottery account bank statements was 56 thousand US dollars.

However the Commission says based on the sold ticket butts obtained during its search and seizure at the FRU office, the total amount collected from the ticket sales should stand at just over 191 thousand dollars.

The Minister for Sports Filipe Bole says the government will only allocate 1.6 million US dollars for the Rugby World Cup preparations this year, if the rugby union has a new administration.

The Minister says he has informed the International Rugby Board of the government's reservations about the rugby union and has sought its assistance in providing personnel to new local administrators to manage the union transparently and professionally.

The Commerce Commission says it will be taking the union to court to settle how the lottery will be redrawn.

It says upon prosecution the union is likely to face fines of 1,300 dollars for each breach.