Fiji reinstates war dance before matches - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fiji reinstates war dance before matches

31/12/2009 11:44:07 AM Comments (0)

Fiji will perform the cibi, or war dance, before all future rugby internationals after briefly discarding the pre-match ritual on religious grounds.

The Fiji Rugby Union said on Wednesday it would reinstate the 70-year-old tradition which was dropped during the team's northern hemisphere tour in November at the urging of coach Sam Domoni.

Domoni, who is Christian, encouraged players to discard the war dance which he described as a relic of Fiji's pagan past. He said players agreed with his decision because they "fear God."

The decision polarised Fijians who are deeply religious but also rugby-mad.

Fiji Rugby Union chairman Viliame Gavoka said the cibi was an important part of Fiji's rugby tradition and should not be lost.

"Leaders in rugby the world over, led by the IRB, welcome the growth of the sport, but are careful that the integrity of rugby in its fullness is protected wherever it is played," Gavoka said.

"For Fiji, certain traditions unique to the country, in keeping with the richness of rugby, have also developed and are integral to the sport.

"The FRU is committed to protecting the integrity of rugby in terms of its culture and traditions, and shall make as policy that the cibi be as protocol performed in any international match."

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