Two Fijian rugby players have been arrested for allegedly breaking the country’s lockdown regulations and disobeying the isolation rules.
The duo have not been publicly identified but the Fiji Rugby Union confirmed they were professional players and various Fijian and New Zealand news outlets reported them to be sevens players.
The country’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama accused the players of putting ‘the whole of Fiji at risk’, while the local police said their ‘behaviour was irresponsible’.
One player, who reportedly returned from a trip to Singapore, was placed in isolation because he had a high risk of exposure to the virus while overseas, but he then escaped from a Fiji hospital.
‘Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t step his way past our police force. He has been arrested and is in isolation at Nadi hospital,’ Bainimarama said.
It remains unclear what the second player did, but the Fiji Rugby Union has since issued a statement condemning their behaviour and vowing to take disciplinary action.
‘We will take appropriate disciplinary actions against the professional rugby players, including reporting this highly irresponsible behaviour to their clubs and World Rugby,’ chief executive John O’Connor said.
‘The Fiji rugby family wants to put on record our great disappointment at the irresponsible behaviour of these two players putting their families and other Fijians at risk.
‘Such irresponsible behaviour is totally unacceptable, and we support the actions of the police in arresting these two players and any further action taken against them.’
Photo: World Rugby/Archive