The National, Tuesday July 17th, 2012
By ELIAS LARI
REFEREE’S in the highlands region are calling on the management of the Digicel Cup rugby league competition to apply tougher penalties to the teams and players assaulting and threatening referees in the field.
The referees want the competition sponsor Digicel Cup to apply stiff penalties so they can ref the game without fear or intimidation caused by the players, supporters or even team managements.
President of the Mt Hagen rugby league referee’s association Francis Kot said that with many sponsors pumping huge sums of money into each team, their lives are at risk.
Last month in Goroka two touch judges and a referee were attacked by the Goroka Lahanis players.
Kot said since the two touch judges and the referee were assaulted, the management of the Digicel Cup should suspend Goroka from hosting games for two or three years.
He said such penalties would be appropriate and would remind teams to abide by the laws.
He said instead of applying such decisions Goroka Lahanis paid a K5,000 fine.
Kot said if the venue was not suspended then the franchise should pay a K20,000 fine and not K5,000 as they did.
He said this clearly showed that the Digicel Cup still needed to make tough laws so that referees would be protected at all times.
Kot said if referees were not protected then he was not sure how they could referee games in a proper manner.