O’Neill calls for unity


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill wants people fighting over positions in soccer and rugby union associations to stop their politics as it was creating a lot of confusion.
He said the infighting by sports administrators in the country was a serious issue in which after some disagreement, they went and started another association.
“If these people really care about the sport, they will put their differences aside and put the interest of the sportsmen and women ahead of themselves. They should be working together,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill was responding to NCD Governor Powes Parkop yesterday in Parliament who raised concerns of the infighting in the sports association.
“Not long ago we hosted the Pacific Games which was a success, and the Commonwealth Games in the past and recent one concluded. Our sporting men and women with limited support are excelling beyond expectations.
“For soccer, you look at some of the success story of John Kapi Natto and Hekari United, very solid management, huge sacrifices for the good of that sport both financial and personal sacrifices.
“These are the sort of people we need to run organisations in the country not for people jumping up and down fighting for positions. We need to support people who are really passionate about sport,” he said.
PM O’Neill said the last thing the Government wanted to do was to exert direct influence over sports in the country by bringing legislative reforms where it would have to dictate terms to the administrations of sports in the country.
“We want to make sure that it is voluntary, it is one that is building community spirit rather than government enforcing its will on sporting bodies across the country.
“I have had a few meetings with the PNG Rugby Union trying to mediate their differences so that we can work together but I see that their differences have way of being resolved because no one is willing to listen.
“We will continue to maintain dialogue with both parties, this kind of issues brought forward in public will bring some common sense thinking on some of these administrators so that they can work on their differences so that it is resolved amicably.”