Beaumont's ally faces homophobic allegations
NEWS: World Rugby’s election has taken yet another turn into the abyss as governing body are launching an investigating into convicted killer Fiji Rugby chairman Francis Kean.
The Fiji boss is being accused of homophobia and discrimination.
A Sunday Times report revealed allegations of homophobia against Kean which has left the former head of the Fijian Navy under pressure to stand down.
Aside from the latest allegations, Kean was convicted of manslaughter after killing a man in 2006, served just three months of an 18-month sentence after the assault – which happened at the wedding of one of Prime Minister’s Frank Bainimarama’s daughters, a month after Bainimarama seized power in a military coup.
*Also read: Convicted Killer eyes World Rugby promotion
The revelations of Kean’s alleged misdemeanour could also spell trouble for World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, whose bid for re-election has been backed by the FRU.
Kean is also looking to secure a position on World Rugby’s executive committee but is now expected to withdraw.
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The Sunday Times report claims to have heard a recording of a Kean dating back to 2016, from his time in charge of the prison service, during which he uses violent and homophobic language.
World Rugby have responded to that report by confirming they will investigate the claims.
“World Rugby notes allegations in the UK Sunday Times about Fiji Rugby Union chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean and takes the nature of these allegations extremely seriously,” a World Rugby statement said.
“Rugby is a sport built on strong and inclusive values and World Rugby does not in any way condone abusive or discriminatory behaviour as enshrined within its bye-laws.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further until we have discussed the matter fully with the Fiji Rugby Union and have established all the facts.”
Kean currently represents Fiji on the World Rugby council.
While the allegations against Kean could disrupt Beaumont’s bid for re-election, World Rugby stressed that Beaumont’s nomination came from the FRU, rather than from Kean individually.
The election result is set to be confirmed on May 12 at a World Rugby council meeting.
Source: Sunday Times & Rugbypass