14 Dec 2016

Sport: Sodelpa calls on Fiji Rugby to sort out sevens contracts

11:43 am on 14 December 2016

The Opposition Sodelpa Party President Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, has called on the Fiji Rugby Union to be fair and to sort out the contracts for the Fiji Sevens team.

Ratu Naiqama's comments come after an online spat erupted between the former coach of the side, Ben Ryan, and the FRU over player payments.

Ben Ryan, who led Fiji to two World Series titles and a first ever Olympic Gold, initiated the exchange by pleading with the union to give contracts to the players involved in the opening two rounds of the season.

Sodelpa president, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu

Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu has come out in support of former coach Ben Ryan Photo: Sodelpa

The FRU responded with a statement saying it seemed difficult for Ryan to move on and they were disappointed in his constant comments.

Ratu Naiqama said the victorious players, coach and management deserve every accolade and encouragement after their historic feat at the Rio Olympics.

He said the union should not shoot the messenger as under Ryan's visionary and tactical leadership, the team became unequalled ambassadors for Fiji and an example of the benefits of sacrifice, determination, perseverance and hardwork.

Sodelpa recommended that all sevens players be on contracts of $FJ30,000 per year.

The FRU said although the players' employment contracts expired after the Olympics, they have still been paid "relevant allowances" while in camp during the Dubai and Cape Town sevens.