Rangers take matter to court

Main Stories, Sports

The National, Friday, April 29, 2011

INTER-CITY cup team Masta Mak  City Rangers, through franchise owner Kelly Aiyok, filed an urgent application yesterday at the Waigani National Court for an interim restraining order against the PNG National Rugby League board.
The order seeks to stop the 2011 Digicel Cup, following complaints of irregularities in certain actions of the board.
Rangers, a team which had been affiliated in to the competition since 2008 in the then bemobile Cup, filed the application following purported injustice by the PNGNRL board in omitting them from this year’s competition.
The franchise had been told by the PNGNRL board to pay a total of K228,000 upfront before entering this year’s competition and failure to comply would result in their removal from competition.
The amount comprises K90,000 in affiliation fee, last year’s outstanding fees of K58,000 allegedly owed to the PNGNRL, and an K80,000 pre-match payment.
During the application hearing, the team’s counsel pointed out that while some teams have been allowed part payment of their pre-match fee and given time to pay as the season continued, his client was bluntly told to pay  K80,000 in full. 
It was also alleged that there was no board decision to impose such a requirement on the team and that the actions of the board were prejudicial to the team.
With the Digicel Cup set to kick off next week, the urgent application was to prevent official draws and the official launch of the competition while the Ranger’s fate was indeterminate. 
Judge Royale Thompson, who presided over the matter, reserved directions to today.
 It is understood that if the court direction goes in favour of the aggrieved party, the media will also be restrained from publishing the draws of the match and other related happenings in relation to the competition until the matter was resolved.