TRU boss accuses team manager of holding up funding for Sevens Olympic support

    'Oku taupotu ki lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga ki he ongoongo' ni

    Tonga Rugby Union CEO Fe’ao Vunipola has accused ‘Ikale Tahi manager ‘Inoke Afeaki of holding up the TRU’s application for Seven’s funding from the Olympic Solidarity Funds.

    “Ever since Sevens became an Olympic Sport, funding from World Rugby consolidated with Olympic funding hence TRU must apply via Tasanoc and Oceania Rugby,” Vunipola said.

    “This is a lot of money that could help our Sevens but so far, nothing had been forthcoming.”

    Vunipola’s accusations are the latest in a series of public spats between the two rugby officials.

    Afeaki claimed earlier this month that ‘Ikale Tahi had not been paid because the TRU had exhausted its TP$400,000 budget.

    Vunipola hit back, saying Afeaki had been told the pay would be late but that he did not tell the players.

    “TRU agreed to ignore his critiques and be the bigger man and forgave his childish outbursts for the benefit of rugby union in Tonga,” he said.

    Afeaki said this week player bank accounts had been supplied to the TRU, but no payments had been made.

    “The PM had to sign a grant to make money available to pay the allowances on May 30,” Afeaki said.

    The list of players’ bank accounts were provided on May 29, but did not begin arriving until June 25.

    “I am pretty careful with government funds,” Afeaki said.

    “I worked for five years for the Singapore Rugby Union as its Technical Director and was accountable for tax payers’  money.

    “If I was found to be misusing or mismanaging tax payers’ money, I would be looking at jail time.

    “I don’t like the PM being made to bail out people who don’t do their job properly.”

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after this story was published last night Vunipola contacted Kaniva News and clarified the role of TRU in regards to Ikale Tahi players’ pay.

    This is what he said: “TRU had played no part in player’s allowance.

    “Players account were directly submitted from Lano Fonua to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Finance.

    “We wanted to clear our hands of any issues that may arise in the future of which Inoke had recently accused us of.”


    1. Tukuaki’i ‘e he CEO e Poate ‘Akapulu ‘a Tonga’ Fe’ao Vunipola na’e puke ‘e he pule ‘o e ‘Ikale Tahi’ ‘Inoke Afeaki e kole ‘a e Poate’ ki he pa’anga tokoni ‘a e Toko Fitu’ mei he Olympic Solidarity Funds.

      Ko e tukuaki’i ko ‘eni’ ko e fakamuimui taha ia he fetō’aki ‘a e ongo ‘ofisiale’ ni hili e mahino he māhina Sune’ ne tōmui e vahe ‘a e ‘Ikale Tahi’ hili hono tau’i ‘e Ipu ‘a e Pasifiki’.

      Ka kuo fakahā ‘e Afeaki he uike’ ni na’e ‘ave ‘a e ‘akauni pangikē ‘a e tamaiki va’inga’ ki he poate’ ka na’e ‘ikai ke totongi taimi tonu mai.

      Tupu ‘eni he na’e fie ma’u ia ke fakamo’oni ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia’ ke faka’atā mai e pa’anga mei he pule’anga’ ‘i Mē ‘aho 30.

      Pehē ‘e Afeaki’ na’e ‘ave ‘a e ‘akauni ‘a e tamaiki ‘i Mē ‘aho 29 ka ne toki hū mai ‘enau vahe’ he ‘aho 25 ‘o Sune’.


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