By ROBINSON LEKA
THE Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) has defended its Digicel Cup referees following continuous criticism from fans and clubs regarding the quality of decisions made by match officials this season.
PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina said last week that the quality of decisions made on the field came down to the availability of referees and the technical support to train them.
“The challenge here is the people available and willing to do the job,” he said.
“A lot of players want to be coaches, trainers and managers after playing football.
“None of them want to take the whistle so everyone sits down and complains about the referee.
“I think our referees are doing their best, one or two mistakes do happen and that’s natural.
“So we accept the comments and criticism directed at the referees and we’re always communicating with them.”
Meanwhile, Hondina also highlighted the introduction of the video referral system this year which was a first in the country’s history and a milestone for the Digicel Cup.
“The system has been working well for us, it’s something new,” he said.
“You make mistakes and you learn from them.
“And over time, you master it.
“For starters, the TV crew have made it possible to give that extra level of decision making so that has been very helpful to us for a couple games leading into the finals.
“It was a good move to introduce the video referee and it has really improved the game.”