Sport: PNG Rugby headed to court

1:19 pm on 13 February 2017

The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union intends to seek clarification from the courts as to who is the legitimate administrator of the game.

The PNG government and Rugby Union have been in dispute since Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko announced the election of Steven Kami as PNGRFU interim president-late last year.

World Rugby warned the Minister in December not to politically interfere in the running or decision making of rugby union in PNG.

The governing body said it did not recognise Mr Kami's administration and that Ben Frame was the duly elected President of the PNGRFU.

Mr Frame said he met with Justin Tkatcheno and Steven Kami last month but they failed to come to an agreement.

"The stance was adopt a new constitution and lets have a roundtable vote and my response was no," he said.

"We are PNGRFU, we have a constitution that's been adopted by the [provincial] unions - just because you guys have written up a new one doesn't mean that we adopt it.

"Your call for all tables to come around and sit at the table, it's not going to work because there's too much angst at the moment.

"We can not get all the unions in the room at once - it will end up a pretty hostile situation."

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko. Photo: Facebook / Hon Justin W Tkatchenko MP

Ben Frame, who was re-elected at last month's Annual General Meeting, said the PNGRFU have told World Rugby they will work towards a solution and they want to draw a line under the dispute.

"We need confirmation as to who's the rightful PNGRFU and also put a gag order on these guys just bringing the game into disrepute," he said.

"The code can not continue with the press day in day out [reporting on] the war on rugby continuing.

"Once that is done - it's determined who is the rightful PNGRFU executive then we can start moving forward."

Ben Frame says the newly elected PNGRFU Board intends to hold its first meeting later this week.