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Samoan World Cup manager given 100 pig fine


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Article Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011


Samoa's manager at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand has been symbolically fined 100 pigs by his home village over allegations he misbehaved at the tournament.

Leaders in the Pacific island nation's Leauva'a village ordered Mathew Vaea to pay 100 sows for tarnishing the chiefly title of "tuala" that had been bestowed on him.

Leauva'a chief Vaifale Iose said Vaea's alleged actions at the tournament, where the national team had a disappointing campaign and failed to reach the quarter-finals, had brought his position into disrepute.

"The title of tuala received bad publicity in the media because tuala Mathew failed to perform some of his duties as the manager for the Manu Samoa," he told the Samoa Observer newspaper.

However, he said rather than physically hand over pigs to the village, Vaea had paid a fine of 2,000 Samoan tala ($840), equivalent to their value, and made a formal apology to village elders.

Samoan captain Mahonri Schwalger last month provided a damning assessment of team officials' conduct during the tournament in a report to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

The skipper said Vaea "did not want to be there" and would disappear for days at a time, accusing him of drinking regularly when he was present and treating the campaign like a holiday.

Tuilaepa, who is also chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), ordered a full audit of World Cup funds after receiving the report. The audit is scheduled for release next month.

Since the tournament, the SRU has advertised for a new team manager, as well as a head coach and two assistants.

The SRU has not announced whether Vaea and the other officials whose positions have been advertised still retain their jobs and nobody from the SRU was available Tuesday to clarify the matter.

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