Fiji players furious as they still await payment for World Cup involvement

Fiji Bati players have expressed their frustrations as they still await payment from the Fiji National Rugby League.

The playing squad are yet to be paid for their efforts in the World Cup, three months on from the competition.

The FNRL had promised to pay Fiji Bati players within 10 to 14 days, but that date has now passed and the players claim they have still yet to be paid.

As a result, the Fiji players are refusing to play in any further Test matches until they are paid.

Kevin Naiqama stated: “What we experienced was not good enough, and we’ve come to an agreement as a playing group that we will stand down from any Fiji Bati Tests until we get paid.”

The players’ biggest issue relates to the late transfers of $35 allowances provided by the tournament that were believed to be topped up by the FNRL.

Only a last-ditch meeting with the Bati’s leadership group — involving NRL stars Jarryd Hayne, Akuila Uate and Api ­Koroisau — that prevented a possible revolt. “That would’ve looked really bad,” Naiqama said.

But now, the failure to pass on the $125,000 prizemoney from reaching the semi-finals has forced the players to call for change.

“There was a contract we signed that has everything in black-and-white. They were happy to give us 100 percent of the prizemoney and it’s something we have not received,” he said.

“We had countless meetings with (CEO) Timoci Naleba and (chairman) Filimoni Vosarogo which we thought went really well, but ended up as blatant lies.”