League referees condemn assault on president

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday November 7th, 2013


THE Papua New Guinea Rugby League Referees Association secretary Joe Peregua aired his frustrations over last Sunday’s attack of Referees Association president Guma Opi.

Peregua condemned the behaviour of the two Correctional Services officers, who threatened and assaulted Opi after the grand final between Brothers and Tarangau was abandoned two minutes before time.

The incident happened in full view of the CS Minister Jim Simatab and commissioner Martin Balthazar.

“I’m a referee and a current serving officer of the PNGDF.  I expected them (CS officers) to be more in control of their emotions. I don’t know if they know that I am a soldier. I respect them as CS officers but condemn such violent attitudes” Peregua said.

“I referee matches and also am the secretary to the PNGRA, apart from getting a token amount in match fees, what I do is entirely voluntary because I enjoy it. It’s pure entertainment where fans, families and officials come to enjoy the game. Not to get so emotional and start fighting each other on the field. Yes we (referees) do make mistakes. But we are human. We are not perfect. Just accept it and move on.” 

With the PNGNRL Foundation’s bid to eventually enter the NRL through the Queensland Cup competition next year, things would seem shaky as there are “certain conditions” that the PNG team has to meet. 

“It would be in everyone’s interest if this kind of attitude is eradicated from the game through tough penalties that are actually served. Without this we expect worse.” 

Meanwhile, Opi made an appointment with NCD Metropolitan Commander Andy Bawa to further deliberate on the assault pending his medical report from Dr James Naipao.