Rugby coach banned for life; $4000 fine after attack on referee in Tongatapu

Vakai ki he tohi faka-Tonga mei he kōmiti' 'oku pulusi atu 'i lalo heni 'osi 'a e ongoongo 'i he lea 'Ingilisi ki he tautea kuo hilifaki ki he faiako, tokotaha va'inga mo e timi 'akapulu 'a Vainii' koe'uhī ko e tuki 'oku tukuaki'i ne fai ki he fakamāu'.

Vainī rugby coach, Venili Vailea, who allegedly punched a referee three times during a rugby match has been banned from the sport for life by the Tonga Rugby Sub-Union committee.

Vailea will never step foot on the field again after his attack left referee Tokomea ‘Ofahulu with minor injuries.

Vaha’i Nau, one of the Vainī rugby players, has been banned for the rest of this year’s rugby union tournament games after he allegedly touched the referee’s hand in an attempt to look at his wristwatch to find out about the time during the controversial game.

The committee has also imposed on Vainī Rugby Union club a fine of TP$4,000 for contravening the rules that govern the Tonga Rugby Union clubs.

The committee made its decisions in a meeting yesterday Tuesday 26 and demanded the fine must be paid in full before this Saturday 30, according to a letter from the Committee seen by Kaniva News.

The letter was addressed to the Vainī rugby club manager Hon Tēvita ‘Unga.

The Vainī rugby team could be banned from the rest of this year’s Tongatapu seasonal rugby tournament games if it failed to pay the fine, the letter said.

The Vainī rugby union team could also be demoted next year to play at level two grade if they could not pay the fine.

A spokesperson for the Vainī team told Kaniva News they will appeal the Committee’s decisions.

He claimed they had filed a formal complaint with the Committee against referee ‘Ofahulu and how he officiated the game. He said the complaint was submitted before the Committee’s meeting yesterday.

The decisions came after ‘Ofahulu who officiated a rugby match between the Vainī team and the Toa Ko Ma’afu rugby team was allegedly attacked.

It is understood the Vainī team and their supporters were unhappy with how ‘Ofahulu controlled the game on Saturday 16.

It appeared the incident occurred after ‘Ofahulu blew the final whistle and ended the game while the Vainī team was attacking. The match ended in a draw.

An eyewitness alleged there was still time after the final whistle was blown and the timekeeper did not indicate to the referee to end the second half.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news