By BURI GABI
CONFUSION surrounds the post of PNG Rugby Football League chairman with incumbent Albert Veratau refusing to comment on the election of Gary Juffa as the new chairman this week.
But it is understood that Veratau maintains that he is still the chairman, despite tendering his resignation as chairman on Wednesday (Nov 25), via email to the PNGRFL board.
He then withdrew his resignation on Tuesday after the board asked him to reconsider his decision, citing the need for strong leadership in the sport, among other reasons.
Juffa’s election took place during the PNGRFL’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Lae last Saturday, which was chaired by the director for the Northern Zone, Bryan Kramer.
Juffa was present to sign the consent form accepting his nomination as the candidate for the post before flying off to Fiji the next day on duty travel. Sixteen president’s representing the associations affiliated to the PNGRFL voted in Juffa as the new chairman.
However according to two directors, one of which was Ivan Ravu, the AGM was illegal and as such any election that was held was of no consequence.
They claimed the AGM could not be valid because all member associations had not paid their affiliation fees to the PNGRFL for next season.
But Kramer countered that allegation saying they followed the constitution of the PNGRFL and whatever the outcome of the meeting lawlful.
This now puts the followers of rugby league throughout Papua New Guinea in confusion as to who is the legitimate head of rugby league in the country.
The meeting in Lae over the weekend also revealed that the board which was elected in 2008 was infact illegal because it did not have the PNGRFL’s affiliated representative’s votes to elect the chairman and his directors.
The followers of rugby league in the country are now left in the dark on whether to recognise Veratau or Juffa for the leadership of the code.
Juffa who is out of the country could not be reached for comment while Veratau declined to make a statement.