The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
WHO is running rugby league in the country, the Hela Wigmen Digicel Cup franchise asked yesterday.
Wigmen franchise owner Firman Joseph said there was confusion in the rugby league fraternity because of the number of entities – PNG Rugby League Foundation, PNG NRL Bid, Team Kumul and the PNG Rugby Football League – involved.
PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) deputy chairman Sandis Tsaka said despite only getting back to its feet in the past six months his board and executives were in charge.
He said the PNG NRL Bid was no longer an entity and the PNG Rugby League Foundation would soon dissolve its powers following a submission to cabinet by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop to transfer powers to the PNGRFL.
“Parkop is incidently the chairman of the PNG Rugby League Foundation … the PNGRFL is in charge,” Tsaka said.
“Team Kumul comes under the PNGRFL jurisdiction and the board is committed to the five-year programme under Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam.
“The amalgamation of the Q-Cup pathway is all part of the proposed five-year development plan that is being put together to be presented to the November PNGFRL annual general meeting.
“The plan covers everything from the local leagues, schools, criteria for selection, Digicel Cup, return of the national club championships to name a few as part of the long-term pathway to the Q-Cup and ultimately the Kumuls.
“I only ask those concerned to be patient as there are exciting times ahead. It will not happen overnight,” he said.
Joseph said as a small-time businessman who was putting his hard earned money into developing the local leagues in Mendi and Tari, the rugby league hierarchy needed to spell out their priority areas.
“I’m concerned that the pathway that we are helping to build will go to nothing as there doesn’t seem to be anyone interested in the local leagues,” he said.
Joseph alleged a lot of money had been channelled to run the two entities and that money could have been better spent on getting the grassroots leagues up and running.
Wigmen coach Stanley Hondina said the criteria for selection should be spelt out clearly for all local coaches.