The Fiji Rugby Union has showed again through the sacking of national sevens coach Waisale Serevi that it has not matured enough to take the game to the next level.
The sacking was described by chairman Keni Dakuidreketi that Serevi had breached his contract by being out of line and speaking to the press against team selection.
Dakuidreketi said no one was above the game and that Serevi could easily be replaced.
Maybe the same question could be asked of the board and the chairman if they were indispensible.
The way the FRU is taking is the same road that we have treaded for so long and reaped the consequences when we sacked coaches left, right and centre because they didn’t tow the line according to FRU’s hypocritical rules.
We had a disillussioned era where we sent mediocre coaches leading half hearted teams losing tournament after tournament for about five seasons at the beginning of the new millinneum.
Enter Waisale Serevi and coach Wayned Pivac to restore Fijian pride in the game to win the 2005 Rugby World Cup followed up by the Fijian runaway performance in the IRB Rugby Sevens series the following year.
What does it have to take to soften the stance by the FRU that this is a democratic country and the coach, manager or any rugby fan for that matter can have an opinion that doesn’t have to conform to the rule book by the FRU?
We have had burnings and looting in our neighbouring Friendly islands of Tonga recently; the same cases in our close Asian neighbours but we still run headlong into keeping our pride and not caring to hear and listen to what the fans and people are saying.
With the talent in the country for the sport, the FRU should have already brought home the William Webb-Ellis Cup at least once and had a pool of players that would be unbeatable in the series but we don’t have the capacity in the FRU to streamline our efforts and produce the winning teams that we have the potential to utilise.
The board chairman and members have been at the position for so long they should have already known by now that because of our God given talents and potential the fans demand nothing less from our teams.
They should have developed thick skins to roll with the flow of the temperament of the fans, accept their opinions and allow them to be a thermometer to see where they are at and address them in their meetings.
If you had worked hard to close ranks with Serevi as the national coach I don’t think there would have been any outbursts in the media; let alone trying to control the coach by including in his contract to keep his mouth shut when the FRU made public statements. Where else in the world is a coach contracted to keep his mouth shut even though he is the national coach?
This is the 21st century and we are still trying to grapple with democracy and trying to stop allowing our people and fans to speak their minds and not having to take offence because as the FRU you have been chosen as an elite group to take our collective opinions and use them to improve our teams.
If you can’t handle the heat then you apply the same rules too. Looks like you stay in your cozy chairs and would not budge when the whole nation is seething with rage.
Serevi by the way is the only living coach that has been able to come in as a rookie coach and beaten New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens in his own domain and dominated the 2006 Rugby Sevens series.
That goes to show that Serevi has what it takes but just needs a little bit of guidance and assurance from the FRU to take the team where it belongs to; World Cup champions and 2009 series winner.
Captions 1: Ex-national coach Waisale Serevi and son Junior hoist the Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong in 2005
2: Fans rooting for the national side in the IRB sevens series in Los Angeles
3: Serevi at his best, playing for Fiji in the abbreviated code