Tkatchenko clarifies involvement with PNG Rugby Union

Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko has clarified that he has never interfered with the administration or management of rugby union in Papua New Guinea.

Tkatchenko said that he received a letter from World Rugby hand delivered last week and not directly sent to him.

The letter stated that World Rugby doesn’t appreciate political interference in decision making or in any part of rugby union in PNG.

Tkatchenko came out in the media and clarified that he has never got involved personally with rugby union.

Tkatchenko said: “I want to clarify that I have never interfered with rugby union at all in the administration, management or the running of the game.

“I find this letter that I’ve received from World Rugby a total insult to our Government and to me as a Minister because they haven’t found out the facts first before writing this letter to me.”

Tkatchenko highlighted that the only statement he made publicly in regards to rugby union is acknowledging the newly appointed PNGRFU president Steven Kami at a public function late last year.   

“I don’t see that as interfering and I don’t make statements for nothing but based on facts.

“For World Rugby to say that I’m politically interfering is a misjudgment on their behalf and they have been fed lies and false information by sources that are only looking after their own self-interest.”

Tkatchenko has made a formal response in writing to World Rugby in reference to the letter dated  December 20, 2016.

He stressed that the Government continues to assists rugby union to get it back on track but it does not interfere.

Tkatchenko stressed that he supports and will push for PNGRFU to get the management and administration right, and to get the sport back on its feet for the benefit of everyone without fear or favour.

Quintina Naime