The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) has stood down its chairman Francis Kean from the World Rugby Council amid allegations of homophobia and discrimination.
An investigation into Kean, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2007, was launched by World Rugby following the claims, which came to light in the Sunday Times.
The decision means Kean’s bid to join the World Rugby Executive Committee has also been withdrawn.
The FRU’s place on the council will now be filled by its CEO John O’Connor.
“World Rugby notes the Fiji Rugby Union’s decision to stand down Fiji Rugby Union Chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean from the World Rugby Council, and therefore withdrawing his candidature for the World Rugby Executive Committee, following new allegations published in the UK Sunday Times,” a World Rugby statement read.
“World Rugby takes all allegations of behaviour that is not in keeping with the sport’s strong and inclusive values and Bye-Laws extremely seriously.
“While it is important to stress that any allegations must be validated, following dialogue with World Rugby, the Fiji Rugby Union recognises the seriousness of the allegations made and the need for them to be fully investigated, and that it is in the best interests of the sport that Mr Kean steps down from the Council and his Executive Committee candidature be withdrawn.”
The FRU seconded World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont’s bid for re-election. The body insisted the FRU as a whole backed his nomination, not Kean individually.
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta