By KEITH PUARIA
THE Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) and sevens major backer Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) continue to maintain their silence over Waisale Serevi.
However, the one story that can be confirmed is Fiji Broadcasting Corporation’s quote from a PNG team official in Adelaide saying that Serevi was no longer a coach, adding that they were not in a position to comment any further.
While the rugby fraternity waits for answers for the team’s performance in Adelaide, the burning question seems to be why?
Was it a financial decision or an administrative one?
Serevi’s “hire price” has been kept under wraps since his official arrival and signing last Aug 17 but the events that have unfolded since then have seen a little support for from PNGRFU for the Fiji sevens legend.
It is still unknown how much Serevi’s contract was, but the initial press conference on the date of his arrival did point to a partnership with MRDCs commitment to rugby sevens, heading to the 2013 World Cup, without mention of the kina value.
MRDC initially committed K200,000 to sevens preparations including the running of the MRDC National Sevens.
This led to the Pacific qualifying sevens in Tahiti last year which PNG took part in and earned qualification for the Wellington and Adelaide Sevens. However, no one outside PNGRFU and MRDC and Serevi himself knows the cost of the Fijian’s signature.
The current search for answers has even seen fingers point at a possible lack of communication and support for Serevi’s efforts, stemming from problems in preparations leading to Wellington earlier in the year.
Sources close to both Serevi and the PNGRFU said a ‘rift’ had already developed, and that Serevi position was untenable.
Serevi meanwhile is reportedly in Hong Kong playing for the Hong Kong Barbarians, in the Hong Kong Tens.
The PNG sevens story was given a further twist yesterday, with a returning national, on the same flight with the team from Melbourne to Adelaide, expressing his disappointment at an incident involving a team official, that delayed the flight for almost 15 minutes.
“We had to sit in the plane for almost 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time waiting while the airline paged the gentleman. It was embarrassing finally when I saw that the passenger was a fellow Papua New Guinean,” the passenger who was on business travel said.
The incident happened while the team was on their way to the tournament.