Mioks banned from hosting home games


THE Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) has stripped the Enga Mioks their remaining home games in the Digicel Cup.
The decision was revealed by PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina in a press conference at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby yesterday.
The PNGNRL said the ban may continue through to next season.
It is understood a similar decision was handed to the Mioks in 2014 after their home game against the Lae Snax Tigers ended in the visitors’ bus being burnt in the then Papua New Guinea National Rugby League-run competition.
Yesterday’s decision will see the Mioks play matches away, denying them income.
This means the Mioks will face Gulf Isou at the National Football on Saturday, Muruks in Mendi on June 30 and the Eagles in Mt Hagen on July 14.
The decision came after a spectator punched touch judge Robert Pukum during the Mioks’ round 10 clash with the Lae Tigers at the Aipus Oval in Wabag on June 9.
Hondina said Pukum sustained a suspected broken rib and lip injuries, and was treated at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
He said the Mioks management had been asked to find out who the attacker to allow for criminal charges to be laid.
“We have video footage of an unidentified person running onto the field and punching Pukum,” Hondina said.
“The safety of players, match officials and spectators is paramount and is the responsibility of the host franchise.
“This is spelt out in the participation agreement signed by all franchises.”
He said the PNGNRL and PNG Rugby Football League had a zero tolerance on violence.
“There should not be any violence instigated by anyone anywhere in any form in the communities,” Hondina said.
He said Mioks assistant coach Joseph Kipi had been banned from the club in any capacity for the remainder of the season.
“Kipi was captured on video pointing fingers at the referee,” Hondina said.
“He has issues from last year and such attitude by officials on the bench is not tolerated.”
Hondina also warned Tumbe (Minj), Muruks (Mendi), Eagles (Mt Hagen), Lahanis (Goroka) and the Cutters (Kimbe) to maintain crowd control at their home venues.
Meanwhile, the Mioks-Isou clash will be played at 12pm, followed by the Wigmen-Tigers fixture (2pm) and the Dabaris-Cutters clash (4pm).
“This weekend’s Digicel Cup round 12 triple-header at the NFS will be played on Saturday, and not Sunday,” Hondina said.

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