Top Fijian official leaves World Rugby role amid allegations

DUBLIN (AP) — A top Fijian official has left his position on the World Rugby council and will not be seeking a place on the governing body’s executive committee in the upcoming elections following allegations of discriminatory conduct against him.

World Rugby says the Fiji Rugby Union is investigating the allegations against its chairman, Francis Kean, made in British newspaper The Sunday Times and feels it is “in the best interests of the sport” that Kean is no longer part of the world governing body.

Kean was one of eight people standing for seven places on World Rugby’s executive committee, the main decision-making body in the sport. There are now only seven nominations ahead of the elections next month.

The allegations against Kean indirectly embroiled World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, who is seeking re-election and whose nomination was seconded by the Fijian union. Beaumont is battling Agustin Pichot for the most important position in the sport, with voting starting on April 27.

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The Sunday Times said in an article published at the weekend it has heard “graphic recordings” of Kean using violent and homophobic language when in charge of Fiji’s prison service.

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