Rangers almost certain to get axe

Main Stories, Sports

The National- Friday, February 4, 2011


Masta Mak City Rangers are on the vergee of being scratched from the 2011 inter-city cup. 

PNG National Rugby League  chairman Don Fox said it was “extremely unlikely” that Rangers would be ready for this year’s competition, creating a possible opening for a second new franchise from the three new teams Gulf Isapeas, Central Lagatois and Hela Wigmen. 

Fox said two teams would be considered if Rangers did not make it. 

“I do not think the franchise owner of Rangers, Kelly Aiyok really wants to do it again,” he said when asked about the future of the Rangers.

Rangers still have substantial outstanding debts, owed to the PNGNRL board and does not have a player base. 

With the deadline of the fees just two weeks away, Rangers’ hopes now rest on owner Aiyok.

Aiyok said he was disappointed the PNGNRL was determined to force his team out.

“Don and I had a talk this month and I will give them a decision,  but not just yet.” 

Aiyok said the deadline for franchises meeting all set criteria especially the K90,000 naming rights fee is Feb 18 and he therefore he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

“I am telling you that I will be putting up a team this year. 

“I know we are getting nothing out of it but for the love of the game, I will. No one has the right to push me out,” he said.

“I have an existing franchise and I will decide its fate,” Aiyok said.

“PNGNRL just cannot penalise me on my debts or the lack of a player base,” Aiyok said. 

“They do not decide for me, I will make my own decision.”

But Aiyok conceded that he would   to make some big decisions regarding the future of his team.

“I will have to decide by end of this month whether to field a team or not.”

Meanwhile the fate of the three new franchises Isapeas, Lagatois and the Wigmen will be decided tomorrow at the PNGNRL board meeting in Lae.

Fox confirmed this saying the board would definitely announce the new team for the season.