By JACK AMI
GIRU Construction Ltd has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of Waghi Tumbe for the Digicel Cup season.
Owner Fredrick Koldop said the company had invested K1.4 million in the franchise.
He said the decision was made due to sponsorship differences, which may affect the players.
The announcement was made in a press conference attended by Tumbe coach Francis Ray, Sipa Korken, Emmanuel Waine and Joshua Nani in the presence of Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition manager Stanley Hondina.
Hondina was not part of the decision, as he only witnessed the press conference organised by Giru Construction.
“My (sponsorship) withdrawal is for the good of the franchise,” Koldop said on Thursday.
“Since we have two firms in a tug-of-war over the franchise, I felt that I had to withdraw my sponsorship on my own accord.
“I have done my part in professionally managing the side, especially with the welfare of players and officials being my priority.
“I’m still interested to support the team.
“But I’ll have to wait until next season and see what transpires.
“I had plans for this season with the constructions of facilities for the franchise but that can now wait until we get the chance to be back here.”
Koldop said the players and team officials had the right to continue playing for Tumbe.
“It’s their decision,” he said.
“I can’t tell them to play for other teams.”
Ray said he was surprised by the decision, as Giru Construction had invested a lot of its resources, especially for player welfare.
He added that it was a pity that this had happened to a sponsor that had boosted the morale and team spirit to end last season in third.
Hondina, on behalf of PNGNRLC, said he was notified recently of Giru Construction Ltd withdrawing its sponsorship of the franchise for this season.
By JACK AMI