Public outrage after Vava‘u school rugby coach caught on camera brutally flogging players because he did not ‘accept defeat’

A man who viciously struck high school rugby team players who lost a game in  Tonga’s Vava‘u islands has caused public outrage.

Reports claimed a video showing the incident was taken in a  rugby field after another school‘s players defeated the Vava’u High School boys’ rugby team.

Kaniva News could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

The coach, who was reportedly one of the teachers at the school, threatened to injure the boys and made degrading remarks against the winning team.

He told his team he did not accept being defeated.

The man is overheard in the video calling his players together and began telling them off.

“’Unu mai ke ongo atu e kapekape”, he said in Tongan. This translates into English as “Move up here so you can hear me swearing.”

He then said: “Ikai tali e fo’i”, which means in English as he did not accept being defeated.

He also said: “Loto keu fahi’i e fo’i ‘ulu ‘o e kau tama kete ‘e _ _ ko eni”, in English, it translates as “I wish to chop off the heads of these players whose gutlessness stank.”

“Omai e va’akau ki heni”, means “Bring the stick here” in English.

“Taa’i ‘eni koe pea ke ‘ilo leva”, in English means “I am going to beat you so that you now know.”

“Tuku e kete ‘e_ _ mo e fakamā”, in English means “Stop being stinking gutless because it is embarrassing.”  

“‘Ai ke ke mate ma’a e ‘apiako,” he said. In English this  means “Make yourself dead for the school.”

“Ha’u pe timi ta’eteuteu ko ee’ ‘o va’inga homou ‘atamai”, in English means “That team which did not prepare well to play, outplayed you.”

Then he said: “Ikai ke fiema’u ia”, in English,”That is not wanted.”

“Ha’u e timi haua koee nau omai pe o laiki moutolu kau ‘atamai lelei”, the coach said. In English, this means “That team of vagabonds came and destroyed you, who are intelligent.”

“Me’a ia kou fehi’a ai. Ikai ke fiema’u e fo’i”, means in English, “That’s what I hate. Defeat is not wanted”.

The one minute 16 seconds-long video clip has been widely shared on social media this evening with one group racking up more than 250 reactions, more than 270 comments and more than 170 shares.

The video showed the man striking three players who were sitting on the field apparently at random. The players were taken by surprise.

It appeared that one of the players was struck on the back of his neck. 

The victims appeared to be shocked and in pain, but remained sitting throughout their ordeal.

Critics reminded the coach that he must accept defeat as that was what sportsmanship was meant to be.

“That is too much and unacceptable”, a commenter said of the beatings.

“He should be sued and taken to court”, another commenter wrote.

“Part of the game is to accept the defeat. If you can’t, you don’t belong there. Uncivilised act from a leader. [Thanks for playing whanau]. You deserve a better coach”.

He has been criticised for his comments about the winning school.

Vava’u High School is a government school and enrols only the top students in the island group who pass the primary schools’ national high school entrance examinations.

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