Digicel has today revealed that it has commenced legal proceedings against the Fiji Rugby Union to protect its contractual rights to the Fiji Rugby properties which it has sponsored since 2006.
CEO Maurice McCarthy said that Digicel understands how important rugby is to the people of Fiji and the company wants to ensure that it continues to help support the growth of the sport.
McCarthy said Digicel is disappointed that this involves legal proceedings but they are firm on their commitments to Fiji and to rugby.
Digicel remains hopeful that an amicable solution can be reached.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Rugby Union said earlier today that it wants the true value of the products and that is why there is a delay in announcing the rugby sponsorships.
FRU Chairman Filimoni Waqabaca said there are other issues that need to be covered before they confirm the sponsors.
When asked about Digicel Fiji’s matching offer, Waqabaca said they want the real value of their products.
Waqabaca added Fiji rugby was sold at a cheaper price and they do not want that to happen again.
Fijivillage spoke to Maurice McCarthy yesterday after receiving confirmation that he had written to the FRU Chairman stating that they should sign the Memorandum of Agreement by 5pm yesterday.
McCarthy said Digicel had matched the offer and he said he was assured by the FRU Chairman that Digicel would get the sponsorship if the offer put forward is matched.
The mobile phone company had also asked FRU to sign the Memorandum of Agreement so that it could immediately release a cash advance of $250,000 to the FRU.
McCarthy said they wanted to issue the cheque as soon as possible due to the current financial situation of the FRU.
However, McCarthy refused to reveal the total value of the sponsorship.
We have established that there is another group of bidders who have collectively put in a bid for the National 7s team, the Fiji 15s side, Secondary Schools rugby, Primary Schools rugby and the island zone competition.
We understand that Digicel also matched the offer for all products.
The Fiji Rugby Union is now exploring the options as it had earlier said that it wants sponsorship for all the rugby products.
Story by: Vijay Narayan & Akuila Cama