Fiji's killer boss Kean resigns
BREAKING NEWS: Fiji Rugby Union chairman and convicted killer Francis Kean has stood down amid accusations of homophobia and discrimination.
World Rugby released a statement confirming the news that Kean has resigned and therefore withdrawing his candidature for the World Rugby Executive Committee.
Eight candidates were unveiled last week by World Rugby to contest the election for seven places on its executive committee and Kean was nominated and proposed by the Fiji Rugby Union and seconded by the Federation Francaise de Rugby, whose president Bernard Laporte is seeking to become World Rugby’s new vice-president.
Kean, who 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.
Kean, who is also Bainimarama’s brother-in-law, since made his way along the corridors of power in the rugby world, but his latest alliance raised eyebrows and action has now been taken following fresh allegations published in the UK Sunday Times.
It was alleged by the Sunday Times that Kean used homophobic language during his time in charge of Fiji’s prison service since 2016, and Amnesty International twice criticised Kean’s conduct in that role. This behaviour which goes against rugby’s inclusive values where its bye-laws don’t tolerate any abusive or discriminatory carry-on.
In a statement, World Rugby explained: “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is in the best interests of the sport that Kean steps down from the council and his executive committee candidature be withdrawn.
“The Fiji Rugby Union have confirmed that their seat on the World Rugby Council will be filled by union CEO John O’Connor. There are now seven nominations for seven seats on the World Rugby executive committee, which will be confirmed at the 2020 annual meeting of the World Rugby Council, held by teleconference on May 12.”