By BURI GABI
FOUR major rugby league playing centres in the country have showed their support for the current Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League board headed by chairman Albert Veratau as the legitimate umbrella body of rugby league in PNG.
Chairman of Port Moresby Rugby League, Solomon Ravu, Lae Rugby League chairman, Russ Kaupa and Goroka Rugby League chairman, Pat Siwi, indicated their support for the current PNGRFL board as the legitimate body and announced the election of Garry Juffa as illegal.
In a press conference yesterday they revealed that they do not support the board that was elected in Lae last week citing it was done in disregard to the constitution and thus claimed it to be illegal.
They made their announcement after holding a meeting with current chairman Veratau, on Saturday night in Port Moresby.
The chairman of Port Moresby, Lae and Goroka claimed that despite all of this year’s affiliated league bodies paying their affiliation fees of K500, they still had to meet other requirements thoroughly, by presenting their association’s financial reports, association constitutions and other important requirements, which according to all the clubs who were at the AGM did not meet the requirements.
“We don’t support the board that was elected in Lae, and have believe in the chairmanship of Veratau, who has done a good job so far seeing the Kumuls making it into the four nation’s series next year and bigger challeges for the Kumuls in the future,” Siwi said.
The four league president’s together with vice- chairman of Port Moresby league, Joe Boino and treasurer David Silovo, maintained that the meeting in Lae was unconstitutional.
They also confirmed Veratau, handed in his resignation through email prior to the AGM, but PNGRFL board did not endorse his resignation and had advised him to keep his post after doing a tremendous job.
Siwi also claim that the current board was never removed and the faction that was led by Bryan Krammer that conducted the elections was illegal.
The annual general meeting has now been scheduled to Jan 31.
There was nothing wrong with acting chairman Ivan Ravu scheduling the meeting to the end of next month.
They also stated that election of Veratau last year was unopposed and the board that was elected was legal and there was no such issue of board headed by him as illegal.
According to the press conference yesterday, Krammer stood down as the member of the PNGRFL board at the eve of the Pacific Cup, he is viewed by the members of the board as the non-member of the PNGRFL board.
“We support the current board and we support the continuation of Veratau, and his board as legitimate chairman of the league, and we are appealing to other leagues affiliated to PNGRFL to support the current board for the development and benefit of rugby league in PNG with exciting times ahead,” Siwi said.
Meanwhile, Juffa, when contacted by The National last night, stated that he was the newly-elected chairman of the PNGRFL and the statement’s made in a press conference last week did not have any effects on his election last week.
He further stressed that he was now looking forward to preparations for next year’s Four Nation’s series in Australia and also to help rural leagues throughout PNG, who have been operating through their own funds.
Juffa stated that his election was overwhelmingly supported by 16 league centres and he was looking forward to taking up office to restore trust to the rugby league-loving people of PNG.