The National, Friday 14th of March, 2014
By JACK AMI
THE Port Moresby Rugby League has called on Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko and Oil Search to secure venue for their competition.
The call also went to the National Capital Districts other politicians in North East MP Labi Amaiu, who is the Vice-Minister for Sports, North West member and Health Minister Michael Malabag and NCD Governor Powes Parkop.
PMRL board chairman Samson Unage along with Port Moresby Suburban League chairman Billy Aki said the city’s premier rugby league competition was facing an embarrassing situation of having no venue to run its 2014 season.
Unage said the National Government was ultimately responsible for the predicament his competition was facing.
He said it was imperative the state provided another venue as soon as possible.
“My Board has written to PNG Defence Force and University of PNG for the use of its ovals but both requests were rejected,” Unage said.
“This will also affect the Digicel Cup which used to use the Lloyd Robson Oval now there is no venue.
“We are lost and nowhere to go, the government, Tkatchenko, and Oil Search as the developer have left us in the dark.”
The Port Moresby League field is undergoing redevelopment for the 2015 Pacific Games but Unage claims no effort was made by any of the stakeholders to help the POMRFL to find suitable fields to run the competition.
He said the POMRFL had lost its revenue earning ability through gate takings, signage sponsorships as well as the hiring of corporate boxes.
“We were not compensated, not even a kina by the government and Oil Search for the loss of revenue and the loss of the structures.”
Unage said the National Capital District Commission through the Sports Desk and suburban league chairman Aki has given Ipi Park at Hohola to PRL for temporarily usage.
He thanked NCDC Sports Desk and the care takers, the Hohola Off Season League executives for allowing them to run their competition approval and confirmed on Monday.
“This has also delayed the start of the nines competition for five weeks,” Unage said
“It does not make any sense for a premier league like Port Moresby to use a suburban field which is not even the standard size.”
Aki backed Unage and the POMRFL saying their treatment by the authorities was a disgrace.