The gambling streak of Fiji's illegally appointed president, Epeli Nailatikau, has surfaced on the rugby field. Nailatikau was snapped by FijiLive taking a Melbourne Cup bet on Tuesday. Two days later he seems to be still in the zone, this morning resorting to gambling puns as the basis of advice to the Flying Fijians, who are off on their Europe tour.
In a Ministry of Information release under the heading 'Keep your cards close', Nailatikau is quoted as urging the team to take a poker face approach by never giving the opposition (France, Italy and Wales) any hint of division from within.
“Don’t discuss in public what you plan to do,” he extolled. “If there are some people who don’t want to perform because of personal reasons it’s ok, no problem, you have to respect that, that’s what you have to do because once it becomes public, it’s going to be debated by your relatives here in Fiji."
Voreqe Bainimarama's hand-picked president had more great advice, telling the team: “It causes a friction, we don’t want that, you should not allow the other side to have a hint that there is division. You know exactly what you are going to do and that is my request on behalf of the people of Fiji. Go there you have a job to do, so concentrate on it.
“You job is to protect this interest and when you do that you protect the interest of the team and the people of Fiji.
“In two Rugby World Cup events we got to the quarter-final and in both of them no one thought we were going to get there. I know in all of them the Fiji team could do it and I have no doubt that we can do it again and even go further. But that is up to you, those of you who are here and those teammates who are still away.”
We wonder what advice El Presidente would offer under a real crisis.
Picture credit: FijiLive