Goodbye Rugby World Cup 2019?

Dear Editor,

Have you read the news today? 

Our 15s side Rugby World Cup chance is on its way to the rubbish bin because World Rugby ‘has launched an investigation into reports of Belgium and Romania fielding ineligible players earlier this year.’

What this action possibly means to us? 

If World Rugby decides to have affected teams to play again, a most likely scenario, our chance to qualify will reduce significantly. Reason being, our best and more experienced players will be unavailable to play for the qualifying matches due to ‘their pre-season commitments with their European clubs’ after June test schedule.

Another touch of Hollywood’s magic plot in which the shadowy powerful characters manipulate the protagonist to their liking, in other words, the fix is in. Although, I still hope that there will be a twist in between this Hollywood-esque real-life rugby drama for a better fairy-tale ending.

Once again, the powerful and the well-connected insult our intelligence, ‘salted’ upon our open wound; an already damaged pride for not qualifying automatically, and most importantly, ‘crap’ upon our lesser-paid but talented players.

This is a national insult!

I am really dumbfounded because if poorer, not lesser, countries like Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga have done a fraction of what richer, not more, countries have done we will be disqualified already no questions asked whatsoever.

Why just disqualify the offending teams with no further ado because these offending teams knew exactly what they are doing? 

There is no question in my guts that these offending teams did what they did, knowing the potential risks all along because their chances of getting away with it are better than robbing a blind man. They knew all along that ‘money’ is more persuasive than Bill Graham because in the business world ‘money talks’, especially, when your viewers are a bunch of spineless-money-grabber Homo sapiens.

On the World Rugby page, it states, “Inherent in everything we do are our values of integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.’ 

A perfect PR campaign! 

One thing to say it and completely another thing to actually do it.

Since these values have left WRU a long time ago, maybe we can show them how these values look like in the real world. As Pacific Islanders, specifically, as Samoans we should uphold our very own values, after all, we descended from the great legendary navigators of the past made up of kings and queens. 

Step one. 

Perhaps what we can do as a country is to give up our bid altogether for the World Cup Qualifier 2019 rather than push our luck and submit ourselves to this unlawful and heartless action of the WRU. 

They might be able to hear us better and clearer when we do nothing about it!

Step two. 

And then, we can form a coalition among Pacific Islanders that includes Fiji, Tonga, PNG, and the more influential and powerful Polynesian neighbour of ours New Zealand and/or Australia, to boycott rugby if these basic issues are not resolved timely and appropriately.

I call it Pacific Rugby Boycott!

Tell them to thank you for the opportunity to qualify but no thanks.

Or not.

I know these our long shot suggestions, however, doing nothing is best than doing something--wasting our time and resources--to an already losing battle with the corrupt WRU.

World Rugby Union, the next time you think of taking advantage of us consider these: we are poor countries not lesser countries, we are less connected not ungrounded, we have less in almost everything not less in the most important thing (morality), and most importantly, we are less powerful not less valuable. 

We are your equals in most important things; the love and passion for rugby!

Your corrupt actions are not the reflection of our inferiorities, rather, a magnification of our superior moral values. 

So stop undermining our worth and values with your corrupt actions. If you insist on your corrupt practices, the world will see less of you as an organization and more of us as a people! 

Your call!

Ryan Christian Flor Nemes

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