By TRAVERTZ MABONE
THE referees controlling rugby league matches will this year be more independent with their management in this year’s bemobile Cup competition and are looking to govern games more professionally.
PNG Rugby League Referees Association (PNGRRA) president Guma Opi said the association had put together a new constitution last year which would take effect to govern the referees this season.
Opi said that last year, numerous faults within the referees’ management had emerged with inconsistencies in referee appointments.
He claimed that last year appointments were made by the acting chief executive officer of the PNG National Rugby League (PNGNRL) and had caused a lot of hiccups during the season.
After a board meeting was held recently, a letter was drafted to the PNGNRL chairman Don Fox stating that the referees had decided to manage themselves independently.
This year, referees willing to govern the semi-professional rugby league competition, will have to be registered under their associations that are affiliated to the PNGRRA and anyone failing to be registered will not be entertained to govern any official matches.
Fox also said that the referees were better equipped and were capable to run their own show with the appointment of their own officials.
One of the senior referees, Moses Tolingling, said that this year looked to be very exciting for the referees as well as the inclusion of an extra team.
“This year, there will be zero-tolerance on violence as we need to have a good image and we referees will play our part,” he said.