The chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union Francis Kean has stepped down from his role amid accusations of homophobia and discrimination, while he was in charge of the Fiji prison service.
Kean, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2007, is under investigation by World Rugby following an article printed in the Sunday Times.
Kean’s candidature for the World Rugby executive committee has also been withdrawn.
A World Rugby statement read: "World Rugby takes all allegations of behaviour that is not in keeping with the sport’s strong and inclusive values and bye-laws extremely seriously.
"While it is important to stress that any allegations must be validated, following dialogue with World Rugby, the Fiji Rugby Union recognises the seriousness of the allegations made and the need for them to be fully investigated, and that it is in the best interests of the sport that Mr Kean steps down from the council and his executive committee candidature be withdrawn.
"The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed that its seat on the World Rugby Council will be filled by union CEO John O’Connor."
There are now seven nominations for seven seats on the World Rugby Executive Committee, which will be confirmed at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the World Rugby Council on May 12th.
The FRU is backing Bill Beaumont's bid for re-election as chairman of World Rugby.
Beaumont and former Argentina scrum-half Agustin Pichot are the contenders for the position of World Rugby chairman for the next four years.
The election result will be confirmed at the same meeting in May.