The Minister for Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Micah, said today he had taken decisive steps to revitalise the PNG Rugby
Football League in readiness for the big game against the Kangaroos this year and for the World Cup next year.
As Minister responsible for Telikom, the sponsor of the Kumuls, Mr Micah said he recognised that the national game
was in disarray both on and off the field.
“The Kumuls and their loyal and passionate fans deserve better than the mess that has existed in rugby league this
season,” Mr Micah said.
“The O’Neill Government has therefore decided to take matters into its own hands and get rugby league back to where
it should be as the number one national sport.”
Mr Micah today handed over a cheque for K500,000 to the PNGRFL on behalf of Telikom, and pledged a further
K500,000 from the Government to be handed over by the Prime Minister.
The money is to be used to bring Lloyd Robson Oval back to a standard befitting a national showcase, and to get the
game’s administration working again.
The Government through the Sports Minister will closely monitor progress on the Oval and on reinstituting a working
PNGRFL Board to administer the game effectively at the national level.
Mr Micah said he fully expected the PNG game to be operating at an acceptable level very soon, not just for the fans’
sake but to meet the requirements that have been spelled out by the international rugby league administration.
The Government will also begin working on ways to ensure that sporting administrators act in the interests of the
game at all times, and not for personal, political or financial reasons.
“The PNGRFL is a prime example of the problems with the administration of other sports as well,” he said.
“Officials bicker amongst each other and spend more time and money on court cases rather than looking after their
“This Government will put a stop to such nonsense. We will ensure that sporting administrations – many of which
receive some form of government support – are no longer fighting it out in court.
“If they have internal issues they will be required to settle them through compromise and mediation – the Melanesian
“We want a feast for the fans, not a feast for the lawyers.”
Mr Micah believed the Government’s initiative with the PNGRFL would help the Prime Minister’s XIII prepare for the
forthcoming game against Australia and then for the World Cup.
“I know the Kumuls’ fans – all six to seven million of us, man woman and child – expect nothing less than a win every
time our team plays,” he said.
“This contribution and the other action the Government is taking will help the national team achieve that.
“I look forward to the game against Australia.”
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