Fiji struggling to pay coach

2014-01-09 12:00
Ben Ryan (Getty)

Suva - The cash-strapped Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) has admitted it is struggling to pay the salary of high-profile Sevens coach Ben Ryan, forcing him to work voluntarily for three months.

The Englishman's appointment was announced with much fanfare in September, when he was charged with improving the skillful but inconsistent Islanders ahead of Sevens' Olympic debut in 2016.

However, Ryan told Fiji's One News this week that "not a penny" of his salary had been paid and he was living off his savings, including covering the cost of flights home to see his family over the festive season.

FRU acting chief executive Berlin Kafoa confirmed the situation but said Ryan had agreed not to be paid for the first three months of his tenure after officially taking the reins at the beginning of October.

"Ryan volunteered for three months after being appointed as national Sevens coach due to the financial situation of the FRU," Kafoa said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He also revealed the FRU had still not secured funding to cover Ryan's salary for the current year.

"The FRU has applied to the Fiji Sports Commission for a grant based on the 2014 budget allocation which will be used for Ryan's salary," he said. "We are still waiting for the Fiji Sports Commission to respond to our application."

Kafoa added: "We as a nation should applaud a foreign individual who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the love of rugby in Fiji."

The FRU posted a FJ$600 000 ($320 000) loss in 2012 and chairperson Filimone Waqabaca vowed to sort out its finances when he took up the post last year.

The union struggles for sponsorship revenue in a market of just 900 000 people and is heavily reliant on development grants from the International Rugby Board (IRB).

Ryan finished a successful stint with the England Sevens team last year.

Under his tutelage, they won four titles on the world Sevens tour and reached the final of the World Cup for the first time last year in Moscow, where they lost 33-0 to New Zealand.

Read more on:    sevens world series  |  sevens

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Who is your favourite South African rugby commentator - English or Afrikaans?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.