The Fiji Rugby Union Board has this morning announced the suspension of all forms of rugby competition and events across the nation with immediate effect, until further notice.
The decision is in alignment with the enhanced controls announced by the Honorable Prime Minister yesterday, upon the discovery of a positive case of COVID-19 in Lautoka.
“In the best interest of preserving and protecting the health and safety of Fijians and the Government regulations imposed today particularly around unnecessary gatherings beyond 20, the Board was left with very little choice but to suspend rugby competitions and events for the short term future”
CEO Fiji Rugby John O,Connor thanked the Fiji Rugby Board for their guidance and leadership in support of the measures taken by Government but more importantly in these unprecedented times due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 globally
“After consultation with our sponsors, the upcoming domestic competitions such as the Skipper Cup, Vodafone Vanua Championship and of course the Fijian Latui’s Global Rapid Rugby season are all suspended. As time and the situation evolves we will re-assess these competitions and will inform Affiliate Unions of the new competition kick off dates.
We will also continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with Government measures and make decisions around the
future competitions such as Kaji and the Dean’s Competition together with our Flying Fijian’s commitments in June and July”.
“We have arranged with our High Performance Coaches including the Men and Women’s 7s Team to manage their athletes and training environments in compliance to the regulations announced yesterday coordinating their programmes around reduced groups sizes and more importantly practising safe and appropriate hygiene at all times”.
“We are encouraging our Affiliate Unions to align to these measures and likewise to cancel their organised club competitions and any gathering which will result in 20 or more people gathering at once. We are also urging Unions to take a leadership role in their community around managing safe hygiene principals and controlled group environments.
“In the interim, it will be business as usual at Rugby House, with all administration continuing and utmost diligence being paid to hygiene protocols and suitable social distancing.
“We are confident in the response plan from the Government and that the threat of COVID-19 will be managed across the country swiftly and efficiently, we are mindful of this unique global event and will be working closely with authorities on best management practises.
“For now, it is our responsibility as members of Team Fiji to champion the cause of well being for the nation and we advocate to all of our rugby family to maintain practising high performance hygiene, adhere to the recommendations of Government regarding social distancing, health practises and non-essential travel.
“For those of you concerned for the wellbeing of our Fijian 7s squad members in relation to their return from the USA and Canada, we wish to advise that the 7s players are safe and have been cleared from isolation by the Ministry of Health with no players so far showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. The players also did not return back home via the mentioned San Francisco flight.
We thank you for your understanding at this time and as soon as we have further advice on the safe return of rugby, we’ll be ready for kick off.
On behalf of the President, Board and Staff of Fiji Rugby our best wishes and support to all the families of Fiji and may you stay healthy and united in the wake of this extraordinary global event.”