The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By KEVIN TEME
FRANCHISE owner Kelly Aiyok is confident Masta Mak City Rangers will be participating in this year’s semi-professional rugby league challenge, the Digicel Cup.
But Aiyok has only four days remaining to convince the PNG National Rugby League that he will be able to come up with the funds to pay his debts and the fees to ensure the Rangers participate this season.
He was speaking at the Ipi Park on Sunday when brushing aside recent criticisms on whether the Rangers would be participating in this year’s Digicel Cup challenge.
He also presented K300 to the man-of-the-match in the main game of the Hohola Lareva off-season rugby league competition.
Aiyok has until Friday to pay up but he is confident to settle his debts before the final decision is handed down.
It is believed that the Rangers had accumulated K228,000 in debts.
However, Aiyok also clarified that PNGNRL board owed the Rangers more than K44,000 from their outstanding bills from last season’s games.
“I know we (Rangers) owe them money. They also owe us so it is a two-way thing. They cannot just put us off nor can the media make the decision on our fate,” he told a packed crowd watching the game between competition front runners, Raiders Namona and Freeway Bumpers.
Aiyok also said he would continue to support the Masta Mak Easter Cup challenge.
It will be hosted by the Hohola off-season league.
“It is worth supporting the Easter Cup concept and owning it rather than playing or paying for some competition run by someone else which cannot benefit a majority,” Aiyok said.
New franchise Gulf Isapea are hoping for Rangers exit so that they have a chance for a call-up for this year’s challenge.
However, Aiyok said he met with the PNGNRL chairman Don Fox last week and will meet again tomorrow to hold final discussions on the fate of the franchise club.
Fox will be arriving in Port Moresby today.
Among other issues discussed, he will be signing the two-year contract with Digicel as naming rights for the semi-professional rugby league challenge.
He and the PNGNRL board will also be making a decision on the future of the Rangers.