IRB threatens to expel Fiji - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

IRB threatens to expel Fiji

23/01/2011 08:23:48 PM Comments (0)

The International Rugby Board has threatened to expel Fiji, preventing its participation at this year's World Cup, because the nation's military regime has attempted to depose the entire Fiji Rugby Union.

The government of military leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama threatened to withhold 3 million Fiji dollars ($A1.62 million) in funding for its World Cup bid unless the board and executive members of the Fiji Rugby Union resigned over alleged mismanagement of a fundraising lottery.

The IRB warned Fiji that any contravention of the union's constitution could result in expulsion from the world body and exclusion from international rugby.

The Fiji Rugby Union on Sunday declined to accept the resignation of its chief executive Keni Dakuidreketi, suggesting it had been emboldened by the IRB ultimatum.

Board members had previously offered to resign en masse ahead of the union's scheduled April annual meeting which has the power to elect and dismiss official.

The IRB warned Fiji that "in light of the prevailing circumstances that there should be no changes within the senior management structures of FRU."

The notice of special general meeting has since been rescinded.

The IRB said chairman Bernard Lapisset and chief executive Mike Miller hoped to convene an urgent meeting with the current FRU board in early February. It said the current board meets all the requirements of governance and approved of its development of the game.

The actions of the military regime followed an investigation by the Fiji Commerce Commission of a lottery conducted by the Fiji union to raise funds for the nation's participation in the World Cup in New Zealand in September and October. The investigation found that ticket sales and receipts could not be reconciled and that funds may have been used for purposes other than those advertised.

The IRB noted the Fiji union is contesting the commission's findings and said issues around the lottery should remain between the union and the commission.

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