Press statement: We are tired of your apologies Fiji Rugby Union

1 May, 2024


This latest incident showing once again the disrespect and bias against the Fijiana 7s team has clearly shown that the Fiji Rugby Union is not fully committed to women’s rugby. Every time there is an incident highlighting the gender bias, discrimination, and inequality in the sport – the Fiji Rugby Union apologises. We are tired of your apologies. There is a huge disconnect between the Fiji Rugby Union Management and the players and team managers. Board Chair Peter Mazey claims he found out about the incident which happened months ago through the media. That is unbelievable. Why was there so much silence around this from the Fijiana 7s team management.

Player welfare, performance and safety were compromised when the Fijiana 7s players slept on benches outside the airport. So many other hotels in Sydney would have had rooms available apart from those Coach Saiasi Fuli checked. Maybe the coach and the manager didn’t look or try hard enough because they just expected the players to sleep at the airport for those few hours. And couldn’t the male players be asked to give up some rooms for the women to share because they were young women. And in our misogynistic patriarchal society women are generally bullied and younger women don’t often fight back. So, this is how this attitude manifests itself in society.

The Fiji Rugby Union has a history of misogynistic behaviour and attitude towards female players. It is time to change.  Sports is one of the settings in the National Action Plan for the Prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. So, sports is a major stakeholder in the plan. We all can start now! FRU needs to review existing policies and start strategizing for a national plan to promote gender equality and equity including budgetary measures and gender accountability in consultation with the female players and other female officials and the women’s movement. We also call upon all Fijians to encourage and support our women’s teams when they play.  Have a presence at the grounds to encourage and tell them they are just as important as the men.


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