The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
INTERIM chairman of PNG Rugby Football League Board John Numapo yesterday described the proposal for the government to have a greater say and control over the PNGRFL as a step in a right direction.
Numapo said PNGRFL desperately needed stability at this time for the game to develop and prosper.
“Development will not take place unless there is stability in the administration of the game,” he said.
“I welcome the move and commend Sports Minister Philemon Embel for making this bold decision.
“It’s for the good of rugby league and I urged all followers to support this initiative.”
Numapo said PNGRFL has been plagued with problems created by self-centered individuals who did not seem to have the interest of the game at heart.
“As a former chairman over two terms, I have observed the game go through many changes over the years,” he said.
“The last couple of years have been the worst for the PNGRFL when different factions and individuals have fought unashamedly for control of the governing body.
“Over the last two years, the PNGRFL has experienced a level of instability and uncertainty never seen before.”
This has caused immeasurable damage to the image of the game both locally and internationally, and Numapo agreed with concerns raised by Embel.
He said the national government over the years had spend a significant sum on PNGRFL at its request such as staging the Pacific Cup and the Prime Minister Xlll’s fixtures including the Four National tournament.
These tournaments were heavily subsidised by the government and it has the right to know how its money has been spent, he said.
Numapo said it was over allegation of misuse of funds within the PNGRFL that started the whole dispute and in-fighting among the different factions.
he said it was time for the government as a major sponsor to stand up and say it wanted to have a say over the running of the game.
Numapo said there was nothing wrong with government control of the game.
“The government has every right to be involved especially as the sport has a big influence on the people.
“We cannot put a stop to that.
“This is the prerogative of the government to act and it has a duty to protect national interests.
“Since rugby league is the national sports, followed and supported by the bulk of the population, it has the right to protect the interest of its citizens and no one can stop that,” he said.