By ALPHONSE BARIASI
THE suspended president of the Mendi Rugby League Barclay Tenza, pictured, says he can only be removed by the affiliated clubs of Mendi league and not by the national body.
Tenza learned of his suspension by the PNG Rugby Footbal League through an article in The National yesterday.
Reacting to the news, Tenza maintained he was still president of the league and his term would expire next year and whether he was given another term would depend on the 10 club representatives.
He alleged that the Highlands Confederate director of the PNGRFL, Joe Tokam has been trying to remove him from office over the past two years and has finally got the national body to suspend him during a directors’ meeting in Port Moresby last week.
“Tokam has been trying to remove me during the last two years. He was there when the 10 Mendi rugby league club presidents voted me as president in 2015.
“It is the presidents who will remove me and not Tokam,” Tenza said from Mendi yesterday.
Following Tenza’s suspension and appointment of local businessman Emmanuel Toll as caretaker administrator by PNGRFL, Tokam said the league administration had deteriorated over the years and office bearers used their positions for selfish interests. Tokam said Tenza had allowed the competition to stagnate with one season’s playoffs cancelled.
However, Tenza refuted the claims explaining that that 2017 season was cancelled because of the national elections and he was gearing up to run the 2018 season with the backing of the Mendi MP and the provincial government.
Tenza reiterated his earlier call for the removal of Tokam as Highlands Confederate director claiming that he had not given any support to the 33 leagues in the confederate during his tenure.
“He has had no input in the Highlands Confederate leagues including Mendi over the last 15 years. There was no assistance from his office, not even balls or whistles. “I see no reason why he should suspend me. He has no standing and the PNGRFL does not contribute to Mendi and other Highlands leagues.”
Tenza said he has paid the K500 affiliation fee to the PNGRFL on Monday this week.
Meanwhile, the Mendi leg of the Ipatas Cup kicks off on Saturday featuring two Hela teams and six from Southern Highlands.
Patron Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas will officially kick off the games.
Tenza also reported that the grand final of the Peace Cup league competition sponsored by Southern Highlands administrator Thomas Eluh would also be played on the day.
The Mendi season will kick off following the Ipatas Cup leg.
By ALPHONSE BARIASI