‘Ikale Tahi received Aoniu donations, but not the amount they were promised

L-R: Tonga’s TRU Chair ‘Epeli Taione and CEO Fuka Kitekei’aho.


The ‘Ikale Tahi players finally received the money promised for representing the kingdom in the Rugby World Cup, but it wasn’t the amount they were promised.

Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) CEO Fuka Kitekei’aho has apologised to the national team and said he would balance out everything after the tournament.

Kitekei’aho admitted that he and TRU sometimes became emotional and told the team things they would do for them, but in the end could not keep to their promise.

TRU and Aoniu had announced that TP$75,919 would be distributed among the team, but in the end about TP$50,000 was sent.

Kaniva News understands the shortfall consisted of TP$25,000 the TRU said had been donated by Tonga Power Ltd.

Tonga Power Ltd told us this morning they would respond to our request for comment on their donation early next week and said they had asked for a report from TRU about their money.

Aoniu representative Hon Semisi Sika, who is also Chair of Whole House Committee,  told Kaniva News  their Aoniu committee did not receive Tonga Power Ltd’s donation and so they decided to deduct it from the amount that was announced, the balance was sent to the players.

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Some of the players told us they only received part of the money announced by the Aoniu after the fundraising dinner.

TRU Chair ‘Epeli Taione told Kaniva News the money was paid to the players included a top up payment of TP$1000 to each players when they competed against Argentina and the All Blacks.

When questioned about Tonga Power’s donation and why the amount dispersed was not what was officially announced on the night of the fund-raising dinner, Taione said: “Maau mea Kotoa ne top aki e vahe tamaiki taki taha afe he tau mo asenitina pea top up 1 afe tupu he tau mo nz. Maau kotoa I ai e fkmatala paanga kotoa ki heni he ofisi Union”.

Translated:

“Everything went as planned. It was paid as top up on the boys’ pay by one thousand each when they played against Argentina and New Zealand. All done there is financial statement for this at the Union’s Office”.

In a message written in Tongan and sent through Facebook to the ‘Ikale Tahi players in England seen by Kaniva News, the players were told there were problems with trying to immediately release the money to them because there were repeated delays when trying to collect the sales made by Taione.

The message also said TRU were not forthcoming with players’ bank accounts in which Aoniu required so they can disperse the money directly to the players.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Union CEO told the team that even after he signed off on their wages on August 17, there was a problem with the Ministry of Internal Affair, upon which the TRU relied financially.

Kitekei’aho said the team was told by its manager, Soape Tu’iono, that each player would get TP$2,000 after each game during the tournament, but that Tu’iono did not get the money.

He said he would send each player TP$3,000 to cover two weeks’s wages.

After that the players’ pay would be increased to TP$2000 each week until the end of the World Cup, the CEO wrote. He claimed he was trying to get TP$3000 for each player and would take it from there when Ikale Tahi got into the quarter finals.

Kitekei’aho did not respond to our request for comments.

Tonga was defeated by New Zealand, Argentina and Georgia, but beat Namibia 35-21 and now ranks13th.  On the official Rugby World Cup page, replica Tongan jerseys are still selling for £990, but beanies have been reduced to £5.

The main points

  • The ‘Ikale Tahi players have finally received the money promised for representing the kingdom in the Rugby World Cup, but it wasn’t the amount they were promised.
  • Tonga Rugby Union CEO Fuka Kitekei’aho has apologised to the national team and said he would balance out everything after the tournament.
  • Kitekei’aho admitted that he and TRU sometimes became emotional and told the team things they would do for them, but in the end could not keep to their promise.
  • Tonga Rugby Union had announced that TP$75,919 would be distributed among the team, but in the end about TP$50,000 was sent.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ma’u konga pe ‘e he ‘Ikale Tahí feinga pa’anga ‘a e Aoniú ne taumu’a ke foaki kakato ma’a kinautolú.

    Kuo iku ‘o ma’u ‘e he ‘Ikale Tahi e pa’anga ne palōmesi maʻa kinautolu tuʻunga heʻenau fakafofongaʻi ʻa e puleʻanga fakatuʻí he Ipu ko ia ʻa Māmaní, ka ne ʻikai ko e fakakātoa ia ʻo e paʻanga ne palōmesí.

    Kuo kole fakamolemole ʻa e CEO ʻa e Poate ʻAkapulu ʻa Tongá Fuka Kitekeiʻaho ki he timi fakafonuá mo ne pehē ʻe fakakakato e meʻa kotoa ha hili ʻa e tunamení.

    Ne fakahā ʻe Kitekeiʻaho ko e taimi niʻihi nau faʻa māfana ʻo leaʻaki ki he timi e meʻa ʻe fai maʻa kinautolu kae ʻosi angé kuo ʻikai hoko ia.

    Ne fanongonongo ʻe he ʻIunioni ʻAkapulú fakataha mo e Aoniú te nau vahevahe ʻa e paʻanga ʻe $75, 919 ne maʻu heʻenau feinga paʻangá ki he timí kae ʻosi angé ko e paʻanga fakafuofua ne ofi pe ʻi he $50,000 ne ʻavé.

    ʻOku mahino ki he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ko e tōnounoú ne kau ai ʻa e paʻanga ʻe $25,000 ne pehē ʻe he ʻIunioní ne ʻofa mai ʻe he Poate ʻUhila ʻa Tongá.

    Kuo fakahā mai ʻe he Poate ʻUhila ʻa Tongá he pongipongí ni ki he Kanivá te nau foki mai mo ha tali ki heʻemau ʻu fehuʻi ne ʻoange kia kinautolu fekauʻaki mo e paʻangá ni kae ʻoleva he kuo nau kole ki he Poate ʻIunioni ʻAkapulú ke ʻoange ha lipooti fekauʻaki mo ʻenau paʻangá.

    Ne fakahā foki ʻe he fakafofonga mei he Aoniú ʻOnapolo Sēmisi Sika ki he Kanivá ko e siʻisiʻi ʻo e paʻanga ko ʻení ne ʻavé ʻo vahevahe kau vaʻingá ne tuʻunga ia he mahino ko e donation $25,000.00 ʻa e Poate Uhila ne ikai ke i he aofinima a enau komiti Aoniu pea nae toʻo ia pea tufa pe toenga ia mei he fakakatoa ʻo e paʻanga ne ʻuluaki talaki pea tufa leva pe ʻa e kiʻi toenga ki he tamaiki.

    Kuo fakahā ai ʻe he niʻihi ʻo e kau vaʻingá kia kimautolu ko e konga pe ia ʻo e paʻangá ne fanongonongo hili e tiná kuo nau maʻú.

    Naʻe fakahā ʻe he Sea ʻo e Poate ʻAkapulú ʻEpeli Taione ki he Kanivá kuo ʻosi totongi pe ʻa e paʻangá ki he kau vaʻingá aki hono fakalahi ʻenau vahé taki Taha Afe he tau mo ʻĀsenitina mo e ʻOlopelekí.

    ʻI hono fehuʻi ange fekauʻaki mo e meʻaʻofa ʻa e Poate ʻUhilá pea ko e hā ne ʻikai vahe ai e mahuʻinga ne fakahā fakaʻofisiale ʻi he pō ʻo e tina feinga paʻangá, pea ko e tali ʻa Taioné ne ne pehē: “Maau mea Kotoa ne top aki e vahe tamaiki taki taha afe he tau mo asenitina pea top up 1 afe tupu he tau mo nz. Maau kotoa I ai e fkmatala paanga kotoa ki heni he ofisi Union”.

    ʻI ha tohi fekau ne fai faka-Tonga ʻo tuku atu he Feisipuká ki he ʻIkale Tahi ʻi ʻIngilani pea ne sio ai e Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá, ne fakahā ai ki he kau vaʻingá ʻoku ʻi ai e palopalema ʻi hono feingaʻi ke fai mo tuku ange atu e paʻangá kia kinautolú koeʻuhi ko e fefāingaʻaki ke tānaki mai e fakatau ne fai ʻe Taioné.

    Ne toe pehē ʻi he tohi ko ʻení ʻa ia ʻoku pehē ko e tohi mei Aoniú ne fiu nautolu hono fakakolekole Poate ʻAkapulú ke fai mo ʻaonge e fika ʻakauni pangikē ʻa e tamaiki kae lava fai mo vahe atu ki ai ʻa e paʻangá.

    Taimi tatau ne pehē ʻe he CEO Kitekeiʻaho ki he timí neongo ne ne fakamoʻoni ʻi heʻenau vahé ʻi he ʻaho 17 ʻAokosí ka ne ʻi ai e palopalema he puleʻangá mo e Potungāue Internal Affairs ʻa ia ʻoku nau kole paʻanga ki aí, hili hono tali ʻo e paitsetí.

    Ne ne kole fakamolemole ai ki he timi ʻi he meʻa ne hoko ki heʻenau vahé mo ne pehē te ne feinga tukuingata pe ke fakakakato.

    Ne pehē foki ʻe Kitekeiʻaho ne fakahā ʻe he pule ʻo e timí Soape Tuʻiono ʻe taki 2,000 ʻa e tamasiʻi vaʻinga taki taha ʻi he foʻi vaʻinga lolotonga ʻa e feʻauhi ki he ipú ka kuo mahino kuo ʻikai ke ne lava ke maʻu mai ʻe ia ʻa e paʻanga ko iá.

    Ne ne fakahā atu ai pe ʻi he tohi ko ʻení te ne taaʻi atu ʻa e taki 3000 ʻa e tamasiʻi taki taha ko ʻenau vahe ia ki he uike ʻe ua.

    Ka hili ia pea ʻe hiki leva e vahe ʻa e tamaikí ʻo taki 2000 he uike kae ʻoua leva kuo ʻosi ʻa e feʻauhi ʻakapulú, ko e tohi ia ʻa e CEO. Ne ne pehē foki ʻe hokohoko atu ai ʻene feinga ke hiki hake ʻo taki 3000 ʻa e toko taha he taimi ka hū ai ʻa e ʻIkale Tahí ki he kuata fainoló.

    Ne ʻikai ha tali mai ʻa Kitekeiʻaho ki heʻemau kole ke ʻomai haʻane lau ki heʻene ngaahi fakamatala ko ʻeni kuo mau maʻú.
    Ne ulungia foki ʻa Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Sila, ʼĀsenitina mo Siōsia ka nau mālohi ʻi Namīpia ʻaki e kai ko e 35-21 pea kuo nau fika 13 ʻeni ʻi he fakahokohoko kʻo e ngaahi timi ʻakapulu ʻiunioni ʻa māmaní.

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