World Rugby to investigate Fiji chairman over alleged homophobia

World Rugby are set to investigate the Fiji chairman for controversial comments. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

World Rugby is set to investigate Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean over alleged homophobic comments.

The Fiji chairman has come under pressure after the Sunday Times published quotes of Kean using homophobic language.

A World Rugby statement read: "World Rugby notes allegations in the UK Sunday Times about Fiji Rugby Union chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean and takes them extremely seriously.

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

"World Rugby is currently in dialogue with the Fiji Rugby Union about the nature of the allegations and it would be inappropriate to further comment at this time."

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has laid out his platform for re-election, and the FRU seconded his nomination to stand again.

Kean is among eight officials seeking one of seven available places on World Rugby's executive committee, the main decision-making body in the sport. Kean's bid has been supported by the French Rugby Federation, whose head is Bernard Laporte -- Beaumont's running partner to become World Rugby vice-chairman.

Former Argentina international Agustin Pichot also announced he would run against Beaumont for the top position last week.

No formal investigation has been launched against Kean and the organisation has emphasized that it was the FRU, and not specifically Kean, who seconded Beaumont.

The election results will be confirmed at a World Rugby council meeting on May 12.

information from Associated Press was included in this report.