PNGRFL boss Rau resigns


PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chief executive Reatau Rau has tendered his resignation to the board of the sport’s national governing body.
He said in a statement that he had advised the board of his intention to step down at their September meeting in Port Moresby.
“I had a chat with chairman Sandis Tsaka last Friday that it was mutually agreed for the good of the game, time to move on,” Rau said.
He said the decision to resign was not an easy one.
“Like everybody else in the country and around the world, PNGRFL is going through a difficult time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we’re all experiencing this year,” Rau said.
“I would like to take this moment to thank all our sponsors and partners over the last four years without whom all the great achievements would not have been possible.
“I’d like to thank the prime minister, the sports vice-minister, Government and the PNG Sports Foundation.
“Thanks to our sponsors PNG LNG ExxonMobil (for the Kumuls), Oil Search (Orchids), SP Brewery Ltd (SP Hunters), Digicel PNG (Digicel Cup) and Coca-Cola Company (National Schools Rugby League).
“Other key sponsors include the National Gaming Control Board, WR Carpenter (PNG) Ltd, including Boroko Motors, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd, Trukai, Coca-Cola Amatil, Prima Small Goods, Air Niugini, 9-Mile Farm, Pacific Palms Property and MTSL.”
Rau also acknowledged other partners in PHA Insurance, Airways Hotel, Australia High Commission/DFAT and the British High Commission, Queensland Rugby League, National Rugby League/Australian Rugby League, Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation and International Rugby League.
“I also wish to thank all my staff, programme managers, coaching staff, PNG National Rugby League Competition and the 12 Digicel Cup franchises, for their invaluable support over the last four years,” he said.
“To Tsaka, a man of vision and mission to resurrect this sport, the sleeping giant called rugby league.
“From day one, I wanted to understand what his desire and plans were and we both stood together with the PNGRFL board, staff and partners to develop rugby league not only as a sport but more importantly transformed it into a powerful and influential platform to deliver social and development messages to the population of PNG.”
Rau said resigning was in the best interest for him and the game.
Tsaka acknowledged that it was a challenging time for the organisation.
“I want to particularly commend him for his stewardship of the organisation and the sacrifices he and all the staff have had to make during the pandemic,” he said.
He said Rau was appointed in January 2017 following the termination of his predecessor Bob Cutmore in October 2016.
Rau’s three-year term expired in January, however, he was appointed to continue whilst the PNGRFL restructure was in progress and also due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
“We understand the difficult times everyone has been going through and I appreciate and respect his decision,” Tsaka said.
“On behalf of our wider rugby league family in PNG and abroad, I thank him for his enormous contributions to the game.”