Fuimaono Claims Unfair Treatment by Samoa Rugby Union

Fuimaono Titimaea's lawyer Leuluaialii Tasi Malifa
Fuimaono Titimaea's lawyer Leuluaialii Tasi Malifa

The matter between former Manu Samoa Head Coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua and the Samoa Rugby Union has been adjourned to the 10th of December following an application by the SRU for more time to prepare submissions. The submission was put forward by SRU attorney Semi Leung Wai before Chief Justice Patu Falefatu Sapolu.

Fuimaono is suing the Samoa Rugby Union for unfair treatment claiming that he was unexpectedly terminated without cause. The former Head Coach for the Manu Samoa Men’s 15s is represented by Leuluaialii Tasi Malifa who did not clarify how much Fuimaono was seeking to claim in the civil suit.

The position of Head Coach was readvertised by the Samoa Rugby Union after just 12 months of Fuimaono’s contract, during which time the Manu Samoa had lost 5 out of 7 matches with the 2 wins being against Germany.

In a letter to the Samoa Rugby Union published by the Samoa Observer, Fuimaono demanded a public apology claiming that he had not been given fair warning about his performance or conduct as a high performance head coach.

“To my knowledge, I have fulfilled and met my key performance indicators as outlined,”

“You are not entitled to terminate my contract unless upon the grounds of good cause. Your letter of termination does not contain any grounds, nor have you otherwise informed me of any concerns about or related to my role and work.” Fuimaono writes.

Fuimaono claims that procedural fairness was not followed by the SRU and writes in his letter:

“All you say is that I was “informed” of my fate, by my Supervisor.”

“I was not advised of the reasons for termination nor was I given a chance to respond to the Board’s deliberation of the decision to terminate my contract. These failures are a breach of my right to natural justice.”

Fuimaono is the 3rd Head Coach to bring civil proceedings against the nation’s rugby union. Former Manu Samoa Head Coach Aveau Niko Palamo as well as former Sevens Coach Damien McGrath also sued the Samoa Rugby Union for wrongful dismissal.