The National, Wednesday 4th January 2012
PAPUA New Guinea truly boasts that rugby league is the number one sport of the entire country, says Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) development officer Tas Baitieri.
However, it is a concern for the RLIF to see the sport deteriorate in rugby league mad PNG, Baitieri said in an e-mail sent to the Highlands League president’s spokesman Sandis Tsaka recently.
“From a far we have had to play by the rules (laws) of the courts abiding by your laws, customs, traditions and not ours or those of a foreign country or body,” he said.
“Certain time restrictions were also imposed to which we have stood by and expected to follow due course to an annual general meeting (AGM). This has finally been agreed to and as mentioned previously, our own task team of delegates from the ARL, NRL and RLIF will attend the meeting set for Jan 28.
“We will be there to explain what we will do and also expect to hear from you and the various leagues on how we can achieve a strong and vibrant rugby league in PNG.”
Tsaka said it was time the meeting went ahead because the term of the PNG Rugby Football League interim board comprising John Numapo, Gary Juffa, David Tamtu and other officers had lapsed.
He said he had sought advice from the four regional development officers who had agreed to the date and venue for the meeting.
The meeting will be held at the Melanesia Hotel in Lae, Morobe on Jan 28.
In an e-mail to Tsaka, former PNGRFL acting general manager Ivan Ravu said: “Let’s not complicate the matter more than need to such as having committees such as the four regional officers organising the AGM.
“It is an administrative matter which was in place until the court order. It had cost the PNGRFL so much money in advertising which we can not afford.”
Ravu said all PNGRFL operations had ceased when the court appointed the interim board.
“Our records show that those officers received their payout on June 30 last year,” Ravu said.
However, Tsaka said since the term of the interim board had lapsed, the four regional officers were the only experienced persons to prepare the leagues and organise for a meeting to take place.
“In light of the leagues concerns, I am compelled to recommend that the coordination of the PNGRFL AGM be done in partnership with the regional officers who are still active and continue to be recognized by the affiliated leagues and are utilised by bodies such as the PNG NRL Bid for their programmes,” he said.