The decision of the Fijian winger of FC Grenoble (Pro D2) to take all of his paternity leave provoked mixed reactions.
Asked by France Info, Timoci Nagusa responded to the critics.
He wanted to explain his choice, unprecedented in professional sport, and to assume it.
“I'm not going to tell people what to do or ask them to do like me.
Everyone does what he wants.
The law offers paternity leave of 28 days, but it is up to everyone to take it or not.
For me, family is more important than anything in life.
My wife is very important.
When I go on the road with the team, when I am in training, she will stay with my children.
Making this decision is also a way to protect it. ”
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In L'Équipe, Nagusa had already mentioned his approach, revealing that his wife's sister, who was to come from Fiji to help him, had been blocked because of health restrictions.
“I have another baby girl who is 15 months old.
I saw how difficult it was for my wife after this first childbirth.
I told myself that as a father and husband it was my responsibility to help him.
She needs it.
It's just common sense.
I am proud of my decision because I can be by his side and I spend time with my newborn child, it is wonderful.
But it's a personal decision. ”
My teammates were surprised, it had never been done.
But I also had the right to congratulations.
The 34-year-old Fijian player admitted his decision could cause problems for his employer, the FCG.
“It's hard for Grenoble, I understand, we are a team that is trying to win matches, to grow, and we currently have injured players.
The club asked me if I saw the opportunity to do otherwise, I understood that they want to make me play.
But they must also understand that I have a responsibility as a father, as a husband.
(…) As for my teammates, they were surprised, it had never been done, but I also had the right to congratulations. "
He had also assured that on his return he would be operational.
"As I said to my coach, to my president, on my return, I will play good matches because I will be good in my head, happy."
The technicians believe, however, that after a break of one month, it will take the same duration to be again physically ready to play Pro D2 matches.
“People think what they want.
I know what I'm doing to stay in shape despite having stopped.
I have been a professional rugby player for fifteen years.
I do my business because I know that when I come back, I will be ready, ”he repeated, and assured, at the microphone of France Info.