Everyone helped develop rugby league, says Tsaka
PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka says it was teamwork that saw rugby league make significant strides over the last six years.
The sport’s national governing body will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) at Bluff Inn Resort outside Port Moresby tomorrow where the election of a chairman and four confederate directors will take place.
Tsaka took office in 2014 and unlike the 2017 PNGRFL election, he now has a fellow chairmanship candidate in Moresby South Rugby League president Brown Murema.
But the incumbent says he remains at ease if he is not re-elected for the next three years which covers the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
“This is not about me. It has never been about me,” he told The National yesterday.
“Since I took office, I’ve had the honour of working with a great team. It has been a team effort by everyone all along.
“Kumuls coach Michael Marum, PNGRFL chief executive Reatau Rau and staff, all our affiliated league presidents, sponsors, fans and other stakeholders have all contributed immensely to get the game to where it is now. And they continue to do so.
“Regardless of the outcome of the AGM, I’m sure it’ll be a team effort going forward.
“The role as PNGRFL chairman is not my birth right.
“It’s a public office so it’s now up to the affiliated league president, who will attend the AGM, to vote for who they think is the best man for the job over the next three years.”
Two-term Tsaka said he was proud of the “stability, credibility and integrity” PNGRFL had shown since 2014.
“We built PNGRFL from an organisation that was operating on around K350,000 a year into one that has a turnover of K18 million per annum. That’s an accomplishment,” he said.
“For the first time since 1974, the National Schools Rugby League, Digicel Cup, women’s rugby league, SP Hunters, Orchids and Kumuls are all under one organisation – PNGRFL.
“I am proud of the SP Hunters, what a success story they have become. I’m also pleased with the women’s competition structure, Orchids and the Kumuls.”
But Tsaka insisted that there was more work to be done to develop the game and help the country become a rugby league heavyweight among established nations such as Australia, New Zealand and England.
The incumbent said if he was voted out, he would still be involved in the game but in another capacity.
“Rugby league runs through my veins, I love rugby league,” Tsaka said.
“I will still support the game in other ways if I’m not re-elected.”