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Politicians told to stay off sports as Samoa rugby sees ‘red’

POLITICIANS should not manage sports in the Pacific Islands but leave it to professionals to ensure their viability and future for the next generations. And Pacific Rugby Players Welfare chief executive officer Daniel Leo says World Rugby has itself to blame for the state of the sport in the islands because it has long turned a blind eye to how rugby unions operate.

The former Samoan international, founder of the PRPW, which looks after the welfare of professional rugby players from the Pacific in Europe made the comments after Samoan Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi claimed the Samoa Rugby Union, of whom he is chairman, had become bankrupt. Leo joined the chorus of rugby professionals who insist that politics and sports do not mix.

Leo told Islands Business that most of the problems are connected to poor governance by the Samoan Rugby Union. Before Samoa took on England at Twickenham in 2014, Leo led a strike threat before their match citing financial mismanagement.

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