Fiji and Ryan in bitter spat
HITTING A NERVE: Former Fiji Sevens coach Ben Ryan has been involved in a bitter social media spat with the Fiji Rugby Union, forcing them to release a statement about the claims.
Taking to social media, Ryan lambasted the Union for not contracting the players following their Rio Olympics Gold Medal. He then went on to add that the team had lost its sponsorship and funding.
These claims have prompted Fiji to release the following statement:
"The Fiji Rugby Union wishes to express its disappointment at Ben Ryan's constant remarks about our Fiji Sevens Team and his ongoing tweets about the performance of the team.
While, the FRU appreciates Ben Ryan's contribution to Fiji Rugby and the success we have achieved through his leadership of the Sevens Team, he has chosen to move on to other challenges which we respect and all have accepted but it seems it is difficult for him to move on.
The FRU has also appointed a new Coach and he will lead the Fiji Mens Sevens team moving forward and we all need to give Baber a chance including Ben Ryan. It is no longer Ben Ryan's Team and Ben must understand this and he must allow our new Coach Baber to deal with the issues in relation to his Team.
All the players that were selected for the first leg of the IRB Series revolved around Ben Ryans extended Squad. Their employment contracts with FRU expired after the Olympics. They, however, have all been paid their relevant allowances while in camp and while on tour for the two tournaments.
The FRU CEO highlighted that Coach Baber will commence duty on the 2nd of January 2016 and the FRU believes it is only fair that he watches our local competition and selects his own team and the FRU intends to work with Coach Baber in contracting the selected extended squad for 2017 and beyond. This was the same opportunity given to Ben when he started.
Furthermore, there is no truth in Ben's comments that FRU has lost its sponsorship and funding. FRU has been having ongoing discussions with the Fiji National Sports Commission and our Sponsors in relation to the contracting of our Sevens players both men and women."
What a ridiculously childish statement. I've only said positive things about everyone and one tweet that tells the truth hits a chord. https://t.co/Id50UdoWhn— Ben Ryan (@benjaminryan) December 12, 2016