|FLYING FIJIANS: History of turmoil.|
By Dylan Moran, TV3 New Zealand
Fijian politics is full of conflict and turmoil, so it is no surprise the country's rugby union falls victim to the same infighting and controversy.
The latest of which is the interim government's calls for the entire board of the Fijian Rugby Union to resign by the end of February - or the national team will not receive $3 million worth of funding for the Rugby World Cup.
The FRU board has met this request, and the interim regime says that it will hand over the funding once a new board is established.
This is the latest step in a union which has struggled to retain its leaders since it entered the professional era in 2001. The FRU has had an almost endless stream of coaches, chief executives, presidents and chairmen over the past decade.
There have been numerous allegations of the misappropriation of funds, and the union itself has been in and out of financial trouble several times.
Yet in that time the national side has made a Rugby World Cup quarter-final, almost beating the eventual competition winners, and won a World Sevens title. Here's a brief history of their turmoil.
December 2002: Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) chief executive Pio Bosco Tokoisuva gives evidence in the trial of two of the 2000 Fijian coup accomplices.
March 2003: NZ Coach of the Year Wayne Pivac denies reports he is going to coach the Fijian national side.
December 2003: The Fijian Government declines a proposal to raise funds for the union by installing gaming machines in resorts.
October 2004: Fijian national team coach Wayne Pivac fails to appear in court on drink-driving charges.
December 2004: Vodafone withdraws as the main sponsor of the Fijian side.
May 2005: The Fijian government invests $720, 000 in the FRU after acting chief executive Derek Samson resigns because of impending financial crisis, while Pivac also threatens to resign because he does not have enough resources to prepare the team.
January 2007: Fijian national coach Wayne Pivac resigns after struggling with being away from his family in New Zealand.
April 2007: FRU announces operating surplus of $349, 000 thanks to a 92 percent increase in sponsorship and International Rugby Board grants.
July 2007: Waisale Serevi leaves his position as coach of the Fijian Sevens side, amid rumours he was told to either resign or be fired.
*FRU team manager Pio Bosco Tikoisuva denies that officials smoked marijuana before a match against the Wallabies in Perth the month before. The officials are later cleared.
*Fijian interim government allocates an extra US$72,000 to the FRU's 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign. FRU chief executive Timoci Tavana-vanua thanks the government.
November 2007: FRU is allocated a US$388, 000 grant from the IRB to expland their development programme and as a reflection of their good performance at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. FRU chief executive Timoci Tavana-vanua is elated.
February 2008: Ratu Sakiusa Tuisolia resigns as president of the FRU to "protect and uphold the dignity of the position of president of the FRU" after 22 charges of abuse of office were laid against him in his previous position as the CEO of Airports Fiji Limited.
August 2008: FRU considers 'drastic' cost-cutting measures after announcing a US$460, 000 loss due to the cost of sending a national team to the Rugby World Cup in France a year earlier. FRU chief executive is Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua.
September 2008: Waisale Serevi is reinstated as coach of the Fijian sevens team ahead of the 2008/2009 season.
October 2008: Fiji Warriors sevens side denied access into New Zealand due to sanctions placed against Fijian sporting sides.
January 2009: Waisale Serevi is fired as coach of the Fijian sevens team after frequently criticising the FRU. Iliesa Tanivula is announced as his replacement.
August 2009: Fijian 15 coach Ilivasa Tabua is sacked following an 'incident involving alcohol' during the Pacific Nations Cup by FRU chairman Bill Gavoka.
October 2009: Fijian interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama calls for the resignation of FRU chief executive Keni Dakuidreketi after charges of abuse of office and fraud are brought against him. FRU chairman Bill Gavoka rejects the call for resignation. Dakuidreketi retains his position.
November 2009: The Fijian national side decide to stop performing their haka, or cibi, as it harked back to the country's 'pagan past'.
December 2009: Fiji reinstate the cibi.
April 2010: FRU announces a profit of F$900, 000 in 2009 after announcing a loss of F$750,000 in 2008. This is due to selling the rights for a test against England so the English could play Australia. England paid the FRU Fiji F$740, 000.
June 2010: FRU chairman Bill Gavoka is held in police custody after forwarding an email from a Nadi pastor predicting a major disaster in Fiji.
June 2010: Prop Alefoso Yalayalatabua and scrumhalf Nikola Matawalu are denied entry into Australia to play against the Wallabies after reports they were involved with the Fijian Navy.
January 2011: Fijian interim government calls for the FRU's board and executives to resign, following Commerce Commission findings that the union misused fundings from lottery ticket sales.