MY SAY :  A Mess That Could Have Easily Been Avoided

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • Manu

 If there are any left over doubts about the truth that ‘ Beggars Cannot Be Choosers” then the shocking end to the power games between the Samoa Rugby Union Board and the World Rugby spells it out, over the Manu Samoa re-advertised coach.

When the SRU Board decided to go for Fuimaono as the best person who can whip up a winning Manu Samoa combination, they overruled the choice of a selection panel set up to do that.

When the World Rugby complained and decided not to pay Coach Fuimaono’s salary the SRU paid him out of their pockets – that was how much they believed in the man.

Now that Samoa has qualified for the World Cup and the SRU coffers are empty, they tried to get the World Rugby to step in with their moneybags but they got clobbered to their knees.

The ruling body literally said, you can do whatever you want with your rugby but if you want us to pay, do as we say.

Out of pocket the SRU decided to eat humble pie.  Now there is a very deeply disillusioned Fuimaono 'Dickie' Tafua out of a job after his heroic deeds of taking the Manu Samoa into next years World Cup in Japan.

He is unfortunately the victim of a power game the SRU lost because it is poor and was reduced to a beggar who got kicked in the knees.

The SRU in a way has become a victim as well because  they went with their gut feeling about having Fuimaono along as the best choice and were proven right.

The Manu Samoa was winless and they were offered a last chance to qualify, when Fuimaono came along and worked his leadership magic and did the job.

As he was gearing up to mold an even stronger and better winning team for the championship run, the axe dropped on his head.

While he is right now running around blindly looking for an explanation for getting the chop, the SRU is helpless from where it fell to its knees as a beggar who dared to think he can make decisions.

The World Rugby is making out to be the righteous party by insisting that nobody is above the law – the selection of Fuimaono was illegal and the SRU has to pay the price.

Fuimaono of course is only a pawn to be sacrificed at will in the chess game the penniless SRU was never in any position to win without two sene in the pocket to rub.

Did the World Rugby had to be this brutal and merciless?  No they didn’t if they had any concerns about the fall out from forcing the SRU to its knees.

The SRU knows more about the Manu Samoa psyche than the World Rugby ever will. Their decision to over rule selection panel choice was at a time when the Manu Samoa was winless and demoralized, and they felt Fuimaono was the best person who can fire up the players again.

The World Rugby did not see it that way or refused to do so. The latter is more correct because if they were able to accept that, they would have easily agreed to a compromise.

Seeing that Fuimaono has done the job and that the Cup championship was already upon us, why not let the SRU off with a reprimand and a warning?

 Any more failures to follow the rules of selection again and future funding will be pulled.

Let the good work by Fuimaono continue and save all the disruptions and the current acrimonious fallout.

Since that didn’t happen maybe there is some truth yet to the claims that the World Rugby is acting like heartless colonialists, ready to shoot the natives in the knees to force them to bow in their presence.