THE PNG NRL Bid Team has called on all citizens of Papua New Guinea to stop violence in rugby league, fearing that it will be a stumbling block for PNG’s push to enter a team in the tough Australian national rugby league competition.
Paul Broughton, chairman of the Gold Coast Titans and strategic adviser for the bid team, was in the country on Sunday to open community discussions on developing and improving rugby league in PNG for the future.
He was at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on Sunday watching the bemobile Cup match between Civpac NCDC Vipers and SBS Muruks.
“I am meeting with community leaders, PNGRFL, PNG Junior RFL, police and other government and non-government agencies to address the issue of violence in rugby league,” Broughton said.
“The players, coaches, referees and most of all you, the great fan, own the game of rugby league and we as administrators, are merely the caretakers,” he stressed.
“Every citizen of this country have to be positive about one thing, and that is to enter the NRL competition.
“PNG will only have one opportunity and you have to make full use of it.
“Don’t let violence stand between you and the NRL because if the bid fails, it is because of the violence and related adverse issues.
Broughton, however, admitted that emotions and passions run high in rugby league, which was now regarded as the toughest game in the world.
“But let’s not kid ourselves – violence at games will not help our cause,” Broughton said.
He urged all stakeholders in the game to take ownership of the game and steer it towards the direction where it would reap rewards for one and all.
Senior metropolitan police officer Chief Insp Andy Bawa welcomed the discussions this week and urged the community to get behind this co-operative PNG NRL Bid Team and police partnership approach to keep violence out of the game.
“Violence will not help the bidding cause,” Bawa said.
“If everyone is excited and enthusiastic about PNG entering a team in the NRL, then, they must take ownership of the game and the bid and ensure that nothing happens that would sour the bid,” he said.