Perhaps it’s time for P.M. Tuilaepa to come home to control his “kids”

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

And so the soap opera called the Samoa Rugby Union’s selection dilemma keeps on giving. 

Like a water spring that cannot be stemmed, the Union’s problems keep finding its way into the public arena so that we are all left wondering when this madness will finally end.

Someone could make some serious money if they would turn this stuff into a movie. If it’s not the players, it is the coaches. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It’s a never-ending story.

The latest drama unfolded in the Sunday Samoan where the recently appointed President of the Samoa Rugby Union, Namulauulu Sami Leota, expressed his disappointment with the hiring process, which led to the appointment of the Manu Samoa Coach, Steve Jackson. 

His concerns were expressed in an email to the S.R.U. Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, dated 20 September 2018. 

According to Namulauulu, the normal process for the recruitment of a Head Coach where the recommendation is tabled before the Board for their endorsement was not followed.

“I was not at the meeting of the 12th September but the normal process is that the panel’s recommendation should be tabled at the Board for its endorsement and blessings,” Namulauulu wrote. 

“I read your comments in the media yesterday (19th Sept) and you stated that S.R.U. is following the due process and I quote “we have yet to submit the recommendation to the S.R.U. Board for their review and final decision” 

“However, today in the email below you said that the decision was made by the Board on the 12th September. How can you make a decision on the 12th September yet the interview process was only completed on the 17th September? 

“O le a la le aoga e fai ai le tatou Board? (What’s the point of having a Board) Just to rubber stamp matters coming through from the C.E.O. and W.R.?”

“My fear is that you are exposing the Hon Chairman (Prime Minister) and the Board to criticism and possible litigation due to your reckless action.”

Well that’s some pretty serious stuff.

But that’s not all. It appears President Namulauulu is not the only one disappointed with the administration of the Union.

In yesterday’s edition of the Samoa Observer, another Board member, Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, spoke out. Like Namulauulu, Seumanu, who sat on the interview panel when the recruitment process started, he said the decision was not vetted by the Board members.  

 “As a panel member of the interview for Manu Samoa head coach, I am disappointed in the manner you handled the final stages of the recruitment and selection process,” he wrote in another email. 

“I emailed and advised you copying Tuiloma (Sina Retzlaff S.R.U. Board Member) to make sure to seek the directors’ approval and blessing of our recommendation. 

“I was waiting for a meeting or circulation as per usual practice. However, I am surprised yesterday afternoon when the press release was issued with regards to the appointment of Manu Samoa Head Coach.

 “I am starting to wonder if our Board is of any relevance. 

“We went through a major review of our Constitution and elected and appointed new representatives of the Board and yet S.R.U. didn’t even acknowledge this major achievement. Faleomavaega, I ask that you respect the Board and its respective members who were elected to govern.” 

Repeated attempts to get a comment from Faleomavaega have not been successful. It would be great to hear his side of the story, keeping in mind that there are always two sides to a story.

In the meantime, whatever happened, we can tell you this much. 

Even we were surprised when the official announcement was made. 

You see, one day we are told that the Union was going through the normal selection process, whatever that was. 

The next minute we find out that the appointment had actually been confirmed and announced in New Zealand. 

We initially thought it was a bad joke until the Union sent through a media statement later, confirming one of Samoa’s worst kept secrets in recent memory.

But what’s new? This has been the story of the Samoa Rugby Union for so long. 

Constant infighting, sensitive decisions being leaked ahead of time and the list goes on. Ridiculous. It’s an absolute joke.

When will it end? Don’t hold your breath.

Perhaps it’s time for Prime Minister Tuilaepa to come home and control his “kids.” What do you think?

Have a great Tuesday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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