By HENRY MORABANG
UPSKILLING of rules and regulation of the game will be of paramount importance when teams are bidding for next season’s Digicel Cup.
Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko, pictured, said he had been talking to the PNGNRL and the PNG Rugby Football League on ways to eradicate the on-going spectator violence in the semi-professional competition.
He made this statement after the penalties handed out by the PNGNRL to Mt Hagen Eagles club and players, including four Agmark Guria players.
Flanked by PNGNRL administrator Stanley Hondina, Tkatchenko said before the Digicel Cup season, all players and officials would go through the rules of the game and also the code of conduct.
“Everyone who is involved with rugby league next season must understand their role as a player or official of a franchise,” Tkatchenko said. “All officials and team management must be leaders, and must set example. They must teach their players the rules of the game.
“We cannot accept this type of nonsense that continues to send the wrong signal to the world,” he said.
“Every player must know the rules of the game back-to-front.
“There will be no excuses for assault or any violence.”
Tkatchenko said this was a strong message to all the franchise owners that if they wanted to be part of the competition next season, it was the club’s responsibility to educate their players and officials on their role and responsibilities.
“If you want to part of next year’s Digicel Cup, then you must know the rules and regulations of the game, and to think twice before acting on emotion.”
Hondina pin-pointed the bench as the place where the incident originated, saying the Hagen official’s (named) conduct only served to legitimise the Eagles fans’ rowdy behaviour. “PNGNRL, in conjunction with PNGRFL, is working together with Queensland Rugby League to bring in coaches to help our coaches and players to understand the rules of the game.”
Hondina said it was important the players and officials respected the rule of the game.
He called on players and officials to respect the referee’s decision.
“We have to appreciate that some decisions are made in split seconds and the referees, as human beings, are prone to make mistakes.”
By HENRY MORABANG