Games passes halfway


THE 2017 PNG Games passed the halfway mark after a delayed start with various issues dogging the event’s reputation that took a battering again with violence rearing its ugly headin the nines competition.
Southern Highlands, who will host the next Games in 2019, embarrassed themselves when their players, officials and supporters attacked their NCD counterparts in the bronze medal playoff at the Peter Humphreys Oval on Friday.
This was not the only flare-up at the Games however with a melee among players taking place during the East New Britain and West New Britain AFL match earlier in the week.
Aside from the instances of violence, organisers are still having difficulties reining in provincial teams that are guilty of bending and breaking the Games rules including the age and eligibility rules in some sports as well as the conduct of team officials.
PNG Games sport director John Susuve said teams had been reminded in the lead-up to the event as well as during the competition managers meeting last week to stress the importance of following the rules.
“It is evident that some of the technical officials involved with the Games are not aware of their jobs or they are not involved with their particular sports,” Susuve, who was referring to the disregard of the age limit and novice rules, said.
Susuve said his was more disappointed that some teams were more interested in winning then appreciating the positive values and unity the Games was supposed to engender.
Soccer’s competition manager Simon Koima supported Susuve’s call, stating that a lot of technical officials were appointed for political convienence making it difficult for them to understand the rules of the game.
He said he was disappointed that he had been threatened by East New Britain technical officials after his decision to introduce quarter-finals as per PNGFA competition rules because of the number of teams involved in the soccer competition.
Koima said he was shocked by the behaviour of the ENB’s technical officials and the manner in which they approached the technical and compliance committee with regard to their appeal.
He said he was prepared to pull out his referees and linesmen if he or any of his staff were threatened by team officials.
The PNG Games host organising committee was expected to make a statement on the violence as well as the behavior of some provincial team officials to sports organisers but has not done so.