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Investigation launched into convicted killer and rugby boss over allegations of ‘violent and homophobic language’

Nick Duffy April 20, 2020
Francis Kean, chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union

Francis Kean, chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union (Photo: Fijian Government)

The chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union, Francis Kean, is facing an investigation from the sport’s global governing body after it was revealed he is a convicted killer with a ‘homophobic’ past.

Kean, who is standing for a place on the World Rugby Executive Committee, has come under scrutiny over his record.

Fiji Rugby Union chief Francis Kean vented about ‘poofters’ and encouraged violence.

Kean – a former military commander and the brother-in-law of Fiji’s anti-LGBT+ prime minister Frank Bainimarama – was previously sentenced to 18 months in prison for manslaughter after killing a man in a fight at a wedding.

He was released early, and later placed in charge of the country’s prisons by his brother-in-law’s government in 2016.

Now, the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper claims it has obtained a recording of Kean going on a violent homophobic tirade while in the prisons role – instructing two officers to assault a young official.

In the clip, he reportedly says: “We are not breeding poofters and weaklings here… we must f**k them up.”

According to the newspaper, he then directs two officers to target a junior official, adding: “Take him out one day for some beers, and while he is drunk beat the crap out of the motherf**ker.”

Francis Kean, chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union
Francis Kean, a former convicted killer, was recorded going on a violent homophobic tirade (Photo: Fiji Parliament)

World Rugby says it ‘does not condone discriminatory behaviour’.

In a statement, World Rugby said: “World Rugby notes allegations in the UK Sunday Times about Fiji Rugby Union chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean and takes the nature of these allegations extremely seriously.

“Rugby is a sport built on strong and inclusive values and World Rugby does not in any way condone abusive or discriminatory behaviour as enshrined within its bye-laws.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further until we have discussed the matter fully with the Fiji Rugby Union and have established all the facts.”

The body’s chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, who is running for re-election to his own role with the backing of Kean, told the newspaper: “The Fiji Union have nominated one of their elected officials to stand for the Executive Committee for which eight candidates are standing for seven positions to be elected by the Council.

“World Rugby does not make the decision as to who stands. It is a matter for the union. As stated in my manifesto, I will be undertaking a full review of the organisation’s governance to ensure that our decision-making bodies are the best they can be.”

More: fiji, Francis Kean, Frank Bainimarama, Homophobia, manslaughter, Rugby, word rugby

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