19 Dec 2012

Sport: Minister says PNG rugby league heading in right direction

11:32 am on 19 December 2012

The Papua New Guinea Sports Minister says, after close to three years of infighting, the rugby league community will end 2012 as a united front working in the best interests of the game.

In August, Justin Tkatchenko met with the International Rugby League Federation and local officials to discuss a way forward.

Last month a meeting was arranged with all competing factions, and agreed to appoint Don Fox as the new interim chairman of a five man board until a scheduled AGM in June of next year and to review the constitution.

While previous appointments and AGMs have been subject to legal challenges, Tkatchenko says the Goverment has ensured that won't be an issue.

"We have put in the court documents that the decisions that have been made cannot be challenged again until the AGM comes up and a new professional board is appointed. This is coming from the presidents themselves to cover the people trying to cause a problem. We're safeguarded in that regard. What our Prime Minister and I want is to put in on the new board professional business men and women and people"

to ensure that at the end of the day that rugby league is taken to a whole new direction for the benefit of everyone.

Justin Tkatchenko says the Australian Government recently released four million dollars of funds to PNG rugby league after seeing the progress made and says further sponsors and supporters will come on board in the coming months.