22 Leagues call deferral hijacking of AGM

22 Presidents of Affiliated Rugby League Associations to the PNG Rugby Football League have slammed the decision of the Board to postpone the PNGRFL Annual General Meeting.

The Presidents claim the Board has hijacked the process to avoid the election of a new chairman and Director of the Southern Confederate.

The PNGRFL AGM scheduled for today was deferred to the 28th of March.

The main agenda of the AGM included was the election of the PNGRFL Chairman and Director of the Southern Confederate.

In a media conference, 22 Presidents from the Southern and Northern confederates aired their disappointment over the call to defer the AGM at the eleventh hour.

They included the Chairman nominee and President of the Moresby South RFL, Brown Murema, and Director Nominee and President of Popondetta RFL, Peter Oresi.

Brown Murema said it was a slap in the face of the Presidents claiming the incumbent Board hijacked the AGM at the eleventh hour knowing he had the backing of the majority of the league affiliates.

Murema said after the deadline of the nominations on February 21st, no objections were raised until just this morning.

Peter Oresi, who is alleged to have been banned by the PNGRFL from holding public office said for the last 15 years he has been involved in the code in Popondetta and with the butterfly Rugby League Club in Port Moresby, he has not once been approached by the PNGRFL or faced the PNGRFL Judiciary to be informed he was banned.

Incumbent PNGRFL Chairman, Sandis Tsaka, stated that then deferral was made to protect the integrity of the election process.

He was flanked by PNGRFL CEO, Reatau Rau, Port Moresby RFL Chairman, Dr James Naipao, and Lae Rugby League President, Adrian Chow, in a media conference.

“Some serious issues have just come to light that pose serious risk to the integrity of the election process.”

He said the main issues for the deferral were due to reports received by the PNGRFL within the last 24 hours of a candidate banned by the PNGRFL Judiciary in 2006 from taking public office.

Questions were also raised around the legality of a seconder of a candidate-nominee when nominations closed two weeks ago has since been replaced by a new president.

“These issues need to be confirmed and addressed to ensure transparency in the election process,” Tsaka said.

Furthermore, the chairman said the eligibility of the 32 leagues attending were not fully certified in line with the PNGRFL affiliation requirements due to conflicting reports from the Confederates.

“The selection steering committee headed by PNGRFL CEO Reatau Rau will look into these issues and in consultation with our legal team clarify and confirm all is in order within the next three weeks before March 28, 2020,” Tsaka said.

Meanwhile, President of Hiri Eat, Romily Kila Pat, said the 22 Leagues will reach a resolution to remain intact until the 28th of March.

He said their intentions are to ensure that Leagues at the grassroots level receive their fair share of development.


Cedric Patjole