Rugby star ignored funeral of 7-year-old son to play in World Cup in France

Stephen Nartey October 04, 2023
Fiji star Josua Tuisova. Photo: TCY/Wikimedia commons

It was a case of deciding between two tough choices for Fiji star Josua Tuisova. He was faced with either missing playing in a historic game in the ongoing Rugby World Cup against Georgia or attending his seven-year-old’s funeral. He settled on playing in the games in France despite his knowledge of his son’s demise.

Tuisova received the heartbreaking news of his seven-year-old son’s passing due to a lengthy illness just hours before Fiji’s thrilling 17-12 victory over Georgia in Bordeaux last Saturday. Despite learning of this news, as an integral key player for the Pacific Islanders, he decided to stay and play. Now he is looking forward to facing off with England in the quarter-finals.

Despite the tragic loss of his son, the team’s website reported that the Fijian rugby player has made the difficult decision to remain with the national squad at the World Cup. He chose to forgo attending his son’s funeral and stay committed to Head Coach Simon Raiwalui’s team.

Fiji are on the brink of reaching the World Cup knockout stages for just the third time in their history, with England expected to be their quarter-final opponent in France, according to the Daily Mail. Fiji have a straightforward path to the World Cup quarter-finals, which is that they only require one point in their upcoming match against Portugal in Pool C.

Interestingly, Tuisova received the devastating news of his son’s passing just before the Georgia game but he played for 79 minutes, contributing to his team’s comeback from a 9-0 deficit to secure victory. He received a yellow card late in the game.

Tito Micgabraph Donzel Ratulevu, the son of Josua Tuisova and Katarina Ladoge Ramoce, passed away after a long and challenging battle with a debilitating illness at Lautoka Hospital. His death was officially announced in a statement released on Friday. The little boy, affectionately known as “Tito,” is remembered with heavy hearts, the statement added.

The funeral service for Tito took place at the Votua Catholic Church in the town of Ba and was live-streamed for those unable to attend. Footage has surfaced of Tuisova acknowledging cheers from fans following Fiji’s match against Georgia.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 4, 2023


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