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Fiji Bati boosted with funding

THE Vodafone Fiji Bati campaign at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia has been further boosted with a $129,000 funding from the Government through the Fiji National Sports Commission.

This was revealed by the Fiji National Rugby League after the first payment under the grant was received yesterday from the Commission's executive chairman, Peter Mazey.

FNRL chairman Filimoni Vosarogo said the grant would go towards the payment of players' weekly allowances as agreed to by the FNRL and the Fiji Bati players and management.

"Rugby League World Cup Ltd pays each player $AUD30 ($FJ47 —— conversion according to yesterday's international exchange rate) per day on a weekly basis during the RLWC tournament," Vosarogo said.

"Contrary to international media report, it is not the National Rugby League (NRL) that tops up the Fiji Bati players' allowances by an extra $AUD70 ($FJ 109.65), but it is the FNRL through commercial sponsors and the Fijian Government grant through the Fiji National Sports Commission that does the extra payment to make it a $AUD100 ($FJ156.60) per day payment to each of our players and staff."

He said after the team qualified for the quarter-finals, the players' allowances had increased to $AUD150 ($FJ235).

"RLWC Ltd still pays the players $AUD30 and FNRL pays the remaining $AUD120 ($FJ187.83). It is something that is intended to take care of players' welfare in camp and helps with families to an extent.

"They are performing well for the country and we are all pleased to have the Fiji National Sports Commission extend funds to ensure that our Bati are getting some form of allowance at this critical time of the tournament.

"FNRL acknowledges the support of Vodafone Fiji Ltd, Fiji National Sports Commission, Pacific Energy, Asco Motors Ltd, FIJI Water, The Fiji Times and apparel sponsor, BLK, for their continued support to our Fiji Bati team in this RLWC tournament."

The Kevin Naiqama-led side is in Wellington, New Zealand, preparing to play the Kiwis at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

"We look forward to seeing the Cake Tin painted blue this Saturday. We are urging all Fijians, here and abroad, those who are able to travel to Wellington to do so and support the Bati play World Cup co-hosts NZ in their Capital City.

"The boys need your prayers, they need your support and they definitely need you to cheer them on this Saturday, whether it will be in front of a TV screen or at the stadium, let's come together and support our warriors defend," he said.

Meanwhile, Vosarogo revealed that FNRL chief executive officer Timoci Naleba has been asked to go on leave citing operational matters at the FNRL headquarters.

"He has been asked to take his leave accrued. He has leave days to take," he said..

....Fiji Times
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