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Kean no longer election candidate but Dan Leo isn't finished with murky World Rugby controversy

By Online Editors
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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Dan Leo has every right to be happy after Fiji rugby chairman Francis Kean stood down from the World Rugby executive council election after homophobia allegations came to light. The CEO of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare organisation wrote an open letter to World Rugby less than 24 hours before the resignation, highlighting why Kean shouldn’t be an election candidate after he was backed by French federation president, Bernard Laporte. 


The ex-Samoan international’s letter illuminated Kean’s harrowing past, which included being convicted of manslaughter. “His time in office has become a byword for intimidation, vindictiveness, corruption and self-dealing, nepotism, and the threat and realisation of violence. This is all conducted in plain sight,” wrote Leo. 

The no-nonsense letter was undoubtedly instrumental in the decision to pull Kean from the election, along with a weekend article by The Times over the weekend. 

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Sam Cane and Dane Coles feature on the latest episode of Isolation Nation
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Sam Cane and Dane Coles feature on the latest episode of Isolation Nation

In response to the latest development, Leo has questioned whether any rugby union should have any political ties. This is because Kean’s brother-in-law is Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who also happens to be the president of the Fiji Rugby Union. 

Leo highlighted nepotism in his letter to World Rugby and said on Twitter that this is another topic of discussion in the wake of this entire ordeal. “Ridding any union of political ties like having the country’s PM as president should also be up for discussion as a result of all this?”

Kean will now not be considered for the World Rugby executive committee, and the FRU have confirmed that John O’Connor will take his seat on the World Rugby council. 


A shedload of questions have emerged after this decision and while Leo and many others will be happy that the Fijian has resigned, the very fact that he was able to be nominated in the first place for such an important role has raised many concerns.  


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