The Samoa U18 Sevens team for the Youth Olympics in Argentina are on their way with the blessings of the nation and $300,000 assistance from the Government.
But not before the team management received a public lashing from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who slammed them in Parliament yesterday.
The team, coach Stephen Betham and Manager, Onosai So’o, were present during Parliament yesterday, when Tuilaepa criticised the last minute application for financial assistance.
“The decision was finalised last night, yet the team leaves today (yesterday), why is that?” Tuilaepa asked.
“This is not the first time this has happened, not once, twice but many times you wait until last minute."
“This goes to show how reckless the managers are in fulfilling their duties.”
But he didn’t stop there.
Tuilaepa told them to take only the best players and not the benchwarmers.
“Be honest with your job and keep in mind how expensive the cost is to travel across the world to attend these games."
“Also when submitting requests to Cabinet for finances, justifications are required to assure the funds is allocated accordingly, but it appears the coaches are only interested for a free trip."
“These tournaments are vital in the career paths of our players,” said Tuilaepa.
The Prime Minister appealed to the players to win gold for Samoa at the Olympics.
He also had a go about the Pacific Games scheduled in Samoa next year.
“Since the establishment of the Pacific Games, Samoa has never won the medal tally; we were second back in 2007; however now we have the chance to achieve that milestones."
“So now is the time, especially with the Games being held here, this would afford the opportunity for all the local players to participate."
“We shouldn’t have less than a thousand players participating and we should be able to acquire all the gold medals.”