By BURI GABI
PNG Rugby League Referees Association (PNGRLA chairman Guma Opi has commended the referees for an exceptional job this year despite various problems faced throughout the season.
He said the 80 referees had done a great job despite being assaulted and intimidated on several occasions by rugby league players and supporters in the country.
The assault on referees did not only take place in minor competitions, but also in the bemobile Cup challenge matches in the major centres.
Opi made it clear that the games at the semi-professional level played in Port Moresby, were greatly commended with players and team officials understanding the game and cooperating with stakeholders in PNG.
“People make mistakes either they are referees, players or team officials but these challenges everyone in the game to go through some learning process,” Opi said.
This year was a successful one for the referees and it will be even bigger and better next year if the sponsors come onboard to support the referees to officiate at the bemobile Cup level with the touch judges to conduct matches neutrally in various centres.
“As the chairman of the referees association in PNG, I am looking at conducting refresher courses for the referees.
“ If it means flying out to other centres to conduct courses, it has to be taken for the good of the referees and the game of rugby league,” he said.
He added that the refresher courses would be conducted if the PNG Rugby League Referees Association secures a sponsor next year which should equip the whistle blowers.