New Digicel Cup teams unlikely

Ora Gairo

THE Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) says the surge in Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases may affect the possibility of new Digicel Cup teams next year.
Competition manager Ora Gairo told The National that the surge in Delta variant cases around the country could have an impact if more teams wanted to join the semi-professional Digicel Cup.
He said all interested bids for the 2022 season were now on hold for now with the competition to review the likelihood of new teams.
“All bids for interested franchises are now on hold until further notice,” he said.
“This is due to the Covid-19 Delta variant surge that may not allow for additional teams in the competition in the New Year.”
Gairo said the criteria for interested bids was yet to be announced.
“Criteria for bids is not applicable at this stage with the competition board putting a hold on all interested bids at the moment,” he said.
“Once the board approves of additional teams and if all is well in the New Year then we can advertise for bids with the requirements.
“This will be further discussed in the board meeting later this year.”
The Digicel Cup has 12 franchises with no new teams added to the competition this year. At the beginning of the year, the competition rejected three bids with the board citing a number of issues.
The last additions to the Digicel Cup were in 2019 when Central Dabaris and Kimbe Cutters joined the country’s premier rugby league competition.

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