PNGNRL gets tough

Main Stories, Sports

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

DIGICEL Cup teams, players and officials could cop hefty fines for delaying matches and criticising match officials.
Franchise owners will be made to dig deeper to pay a maximum of K5,000 every weekend when a new fine system comes into force starting round three this week.
The measures endorsed by the PNGNRL board last Saturday, aim to uphold the highest possible standard and maintain the level of professionalism in the Digicel Cup.
After the competition’s kick-off earlier in the month the board is adopting a zero-tolerance approach to stamp out unprofessional conduct which it says contributes to lowering the standards of the competition.
Team officials who publicly criticise referees could be fined as much as K5,000 while a team that causes an unnecessary delay at kick-off could be slapped with a K3,000 fine.
PNGNRL general manager Hubert Warupi, in a press release, said rugby league, being the most followed sport in the country, needed to get tough on a seemingly trivial aspect of the game. 
He stressed there were appropriate channels for teams to air their views on match officials where their comments would be taken into consideration.
However, the release did not say how the more serious issues of assaulting referees  and on-field violence as well as destructive and violent spectator behaviour would be treated.