IRB freezes Tongan funding, TRU struggles financially

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has suspended all direct financial support to the Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) with immediate effect because the union did not adopt administrative demands.

The Tongan authorities held an urgent meeting in an attempt to resolve the problems after it was revealed the union was in deep financial debts, could not pay its staff and its main office in Nukuʻalofa will be closed.

It was also claimed TRU could not provide rugby kits and pay Tonga’s national rugby team players  who are currently competing at the Pacific Challenge Cup in Fiji.

IRB could not be contacted.

However the interim chair of TRU, Feʻao Vunipola  has confirmed to Kakalu ‘O Tonga Newspaper this week IRB has withhold the funding.

The paper claimed TRU owed TP$700,000 in arrears and will close its office soon.

Talaki newspaper has reported  TRU owed TP$300,000 to Carinat Sport Marketing company after a court decision was made against the national body.

Vunipola reportedly said the union owed this money before he took over as chair last year.

Kakalu claimed  TRU staff worked without pay for about two weeks.

It also claimed Tonga A players who are now in Fiji representing the country in the Pacific Challenge Cup were not paid. The players were normally paid TP$500 each in the past when they went on overseas tournaments, Kakalu said.

It also claimed Tonga A players asked Ikale Tahi player Hale.T.Pole to help buy them white shorts for the tour.

According to the local media, Vunipola summoned an urgent meeting last week with board members in his attempt to resolve the problems faced with TRU.

In his agendas Vunipola moved to sell some of the union’s assets to Carinat Sport Marketing company, lease out TRU’s property in Fasi or for the union to arrange  a match test for the ‘Ikale Tahi in Hong Kong, Talaki reported.

TRU former CEO ‘Epeli Taione told the paper the union owed money when he was in charge of the national body but they still could be able to run it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have updated this story and removed what we have written about TRU’s former High Performance Manager. We have learnt his contract was expired and not terminated as we said before. 

Tonga’s sporting teams need fair treatment

Tongan Rugby Union has no money to pay its players an allowance, it was claimed this week.

Tension in Tongan Rugby looms large

Tongan athletes dumped at the airport Deputy Prime Minister steps in

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news