Treat the players with respect, fairness, and transparency, FWRM tells Fiji Rugby

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) today expressed disappointment over the treatment of the Fijiana XVs teams in relation to delays in payment and overall treatment.

In a statement, FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh called for fair and equal treatment, urging the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) to address the discrimination faced by Fijiana players.

Singh questioned whether women rugby players, who rely on the sport for their livelihoods, will always have to fight for equal treatment despite proving their capabilities multiple times.

“FWRM reminds the FRU that they must treat the players with respect, fairness, and transparency,” Singh said adding, “Mindsets have evolved and majority of the Fijian people have backed support for both the women’s and men’s rugby teams. It is high time that FRU stomps down on the patriarchal attitude and ensures that dues are paid for services rendered.”

The issue of payment discrepancies came to light through media reports and social media posts by senior Fijiana XVs players, including captain Sereima Leweniqila. In a Facebook post, Leweniqila raised concerns about the team’s treatment, questioning whether they had to win every time to be treated fairly and expressing frustration about their voices being heard.

The FRU responded in a statement yesterday stating that all outstanding dues were paid, but there was a misunderstanding regarding the daily allowance rates. They claimed that the rate structure, established by the previous administration, entitled Fijiana players to $300/day during the World Cup and $100/day for the recent Oceania tournament and the Australia Wallaroos Test.

Assistant captain Merewaia Cumu disputed the statement in a Fiji Sun report today insisting that there was a mismatch between what the team management told them that they would receive in daily allowance and what they received. Cumu also mentioned that some players were unsatisfied with the explanation provided by the FRU, and as a result, many of them were reconsidering their return to training.

The Fijiana played the Wallaroos at the Sydney Allianz Stadium on May 20, losing 22-5. A week later, they featured in the Oceania Championship at the Gold Coast, where they finished second behind Samoa at the Bond University Rugby grounds.

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