By BURI GABI
MINISTER for Sports and Minister assisting the Prime Minister Philemon Embel has appealed to former PNG Rugby League chairman Albert Veratau to allow the newly-elected PNGRFL board to take over the office.
Embel told a press conference yesterday that he was disappointed with the current controversy with the national rugby league body.
Both Embel and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop, who is one of the directors of the PNGNRL bid, called on Veratau, to withdraw legal proceedings and allow the new board to get on with business of running rugby league in PNG.
Embel, who is also the chairman of the PNGNRL Bid and Parkop, along with the bid team have supported the newly-appointed PNGRFL board headed by Gary Juffa.
“PNGRFL needs a new face. If PNG were to succeed with developing rugby league as the national sport of PNG, then we must move forward with the new board which will ensure transparency in their management and also support the PNGNRL bid,” he said.
He said over the last nine months, PNGRFL had not been co-operating with the PNGNRL Bid team while other Pacific Island countries like Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa had backed the PNGNRL Bid team’s drive.
He said for the bid to succeed, it needed the support of the national body but it was not the case right now.
Embel added that he had written to the PNGRFL board to work closely with the bid team and start off the junior development programme this year with the funding K4 million.
The minister claimed that there was no response to his letter, resulting in the delay for the bid team to go ahead with the bidding process.
He would be working closely with the new board.
However, Parkop commended Veratau for the good job he had done in his term as the chairman.