The Fiji Rugby Union’s Independent Games Tribunal after much deliberation have made their decisions on the Complaints and Appeals from the Tailevu, Naitasiri, Vatukoula and Nadroga rugby unions.
The Tribunal was represented by Mr. Tom Vuetilovoni, Mr. Paula Cavu and retired Judge Mr. Filimone Jitoko who met with union representatives to clarify issues surrounding their submissions.
On 23 July, 2013, Tailevu Rugby Union lodged a complaint based on Silivenusi Cavidi’s eligibility to representNamosi.
The Tribunal ruled that “The FRU Games Committee’s decision on the Namosi provincial team retaining the points of the match remain, but the player Silivenusi Cavidi be banned from July 2013 till June 2014.
Naitasiri Rugby Union on 29 July, 2013 lodged a similar complaint against the eligibility of Tailevu player ManueliLaqai.
The Tribunal ruled that the original decision by the Games Committee remain as Naitasiri had failed to lodge their complaint within the 48 hour deadline.
The Games Committee had ruled that the Naitasiri appeal could not be considered based on the Digicel Cup Rules and Regulations Clause 6.10.7 – Complaints Deadline.
“Complaints by teams on player eligibility must reach FRU no later than 48 hours after the end of the game in question.”
However Vatukoula’s appeal to have the Games Committee decision reversed and for them to retain their 4 points in Round 6, against Nadi was successful.
The Tribunal clarified that the reason for reversing the Games Committee’s decision was because the FRU had failed to consult with the unions about the Rules and Regulations as in the previous years. Therefore the unions were unaware of the new inclusion in this year’s Rules and Regulations regarding overseas players obtaining clearance from their contracted clubs. The decision was based on best practices as well.
Nadroga’s appeal against the deduction of 5 points from their points total in the 2013 Digicel Cup Points table was unsuccessful. The Tribunal also ruled that the other penalties in the regulations will be implemented as well.
The Tribunal ruled that the original decision by the Games Committee remain, whereby the deduction of 5 points was because Nadroga had forfeited the game in Round 1.
FRU Chairman Filimoni Waqabaca endorsed the Tribunal’s decisions and thanked them for their assistance.
“I endorse the decisions of the Tribunal that was formed to assess the appeals by the Unions. The Tribunal was demanded by the Council during the Special General Meeting and operated independently.”
“My appreciation to the members of the Tribunal, the Directors that assisted and also management.”
The decisions by the Independent Games Tribunal have been reflected in the points table and can be viewed at the Digicel Cup Points table link.