Monday, July 5, 2010

Finally Some Good news about Rugby League in PNG

THE NATIONAL

THE factions at the centre of the PNGRFL leadership battle have come together in the name of rugby league and to ensure the game maintains its momentum.

In a meeting held at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday night, Sports Minister Philemon Embel and chairman of the Rugby League International Federation (IRLF) Colin Love appealed to both parties to determine an interim solution and way forward pending a decision of the leadership from the PNG courts.

PNGRFL chairman Gary Juffa was absent as he was out of the country on duty travel.
His deputy, Bryan Kramer accompanied by five of his board members, flew in for the meeting from throughout the country.

They are Max Tiri (Highlands), Peter Barnanga (Northern), Boski Horta (New Guinea Islands), Lohia Sammuel (Southern) and operations manager Joe Tokam.

Former chairman Albert Veratau and PNG schoolboys director Iffyso Segeyaro were the only members of the other board who were present.

Love said that the situation had reached crisis point and unless an interim solution was reached, the Australian government funding for rugby league development in PNG, the Kumuls’ participation in the Four Nations series in October and the Prime Minister’s XIII match in September could be in jeopardy.

Love raised concerns that the Australian government funding had been withheld and would only be released when the court handed down its decision.

He said he was concerned that funding to be rolled out last year, had yet to be arranged and PNG could risk losing the funds.

There was also the issue with the Four Nations tournament and whether the Kumuls would be ready for the tournament.

The IRLF was concerned because formal documents needed to be signed before PNG can confirm its participation.

With the leadership being challenged, it is unclear who is be eligible to sign on behalf of PNGRFL hence the need for the interim governing board.

Love proposed that both parties agree that the governing body be put under an interim administration.

However, Juffa, via phone conference, raised concerns that the PNGRFL constitution did not allow it to be put under administration or a caretaker with the risk of decisions or resolutions made by a proposed caretaker administration not binding.

After further discussions Juffa, proposed members for the special interim committee to be headed by Brian Canavan, an officer of the International Federation of Rugby League, John Numapo, a former chairman of PNGRFL, and include a member from both boards and Joe Tokam, a long-serving PNGRFL administrator.

Embel and Love announced that Canavan and Numapo were appointed in priniciple as interim administrators of PNG rugby league until the AGM of the PNGRFL in November.

It was resolved that the ARL would work with the two chairmen claiming to be lawfully appointed heads of the PNGRFL to review its current constitution and to organise the November elections.

An interim committee will be appointed by Love to administer funding to the PNGRFL for the development of the game in PNG.

All funding for development will be coordinated through this committee including funding from the Australian government, ARL, the PNG government and the PNG NRL Bid Committee.
Embel and Love acknowledged that the details needed to be finalised but had complete confidence that Numapo and Canavan would help restore confidence and credibility to rugby league in PNG.

“This historic meeting has laid down the foundation for the game going forward and ensures the continued growth of the game in the country.

“PNG is already one of the rugby league world's powerhouse and this will ensure it maintains and grows its position,” Love