Cash-strapped Fiji may not be able to travel to World Cup because of financial problems.
Fiji still don’t have a major sponsor on board and officials fear they will not have enough funds to travel to the New Zealand in September as they are still in the process of discussion with their national government over a promised World Cup funding package of $F3 million (about R11 million).
Newly appointed Fiji Rugby Union chairman Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga believes $F5 million (about R19 million) will be needed for proper preparation, but their government has only provided $F375 000 (R1.45 million) to date. It’s still uncertain whether the rest of the promised amount will be released.
In addition to their financial problems, New Zealand have also placed a selection sanction on Fiji as they will not allow players who are part of the military to compete at the tournament. The IRB have not made the sanction official and Tikoitoga hopes Fiji will be able to pick their best possible squad.
‘New Zealand is saying they will not allow military personnel into the Rugby World Cup, but we have not heard anything from the IRB on where they stand with this,’ said Tikoitoga.
‘I am praying that the selection of the Fijian team will not be restricted because of a player’s occupation.’
Fiji feature in Pool D, which is the same group as the Springboks, Wales, Namibia and Samoa.