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Samoan Team Manager Fined
11-22-2011, 02:16 PM
Post: #1
Samoan Team Manager Fined
Quote:The Samoa rugby team manager, Tuala Matthew Vaea, has reportedly been fined 100 pigs by his village following allegations of bad behaviour at the Rugby World Cup.

The village chief of Leauva'a, Sala Lose, told the New Zealand Herald that the fine, equivalent to $2,500 (£1,500), was imposed because allegations made by the Samoa captain, Mahonri Schwalger, had tarnished the high-ranking title bestowed on Vaea.

Schwalger complained in a letter to the Samoa prime minister, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, that Vaea and other senior Samoa rugby union officials treated the World Cup as a holiday, were often absent from the team and spent much of the tournament drinking with friends.

However, Schwalger also told the prime minister that the players felt let down by their officials. "We as a team feel that our preparation was tainted by not having people in vital positions committed to their duties and responsibilities before every game," he was quoted as saying.

"We talked about the young school students who donated their lunch money to the team, about our people who would rather give to the [team] and go without food on the table, about the special bond the team has with our people. It was our responsibility as players to stay true and play our guts out for our people. That was the only reason why the players stayed. It was for our people, not only in Samoa but all over the world."

Prime Minister Malielegaoi told the Samoa Observer he had personally observed the behaviour of team officials. "Some who are mentioned in the report have a habit we call in Samoa 'faapio le kulilima' (bending the elbow)," he said. "I was invited to the VIP area on the night of the Springbok game and I witnessed the truth."

Vaea, who is no longer team manager, was unavailable for comment.

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