New Government in Papua New Guinea ready to take the reins of rugby league

Tas Baitieri

They are developing somewhat nicely in the junior sense, but with the majority of all other rugby league related matters a shambles, the new Papua New Guinean Sports Minister, the Honourable Justin Tkatchenko, has vowed to change all that.

Calling rugby league in the country an absolute disaster, Tkatchenko wants to overhaul the sport in the country entirely, going as far as meeting with members of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), in order to discuss both a way forward and a way to alleviate the country of infighting within the rugby league community.

“I think there’s some areas that we need to take control of, and one of those will be to introduce some legislation for the government to take control of the running of rugby league, because it seems that no one can make a decision or get their act together for the people of Papua New Guinea,” Tkatchenko said.

“As this is their number one sport we must make sure it works and at the moment it’s not working.”

In a sign that new Government is committed to overseeing the continued growth and development of rugby league in the country, they recently put forth one million kina, most of which will pay for the upcoming clash against the Prime Minister’s XIII.

Tas Baitieri, a member of the RLIF, says that whilst the sport’s governing body is a fan of increasing and developing the profile of rugby league in the country, the last thing they want to do, is rush into things.

With a lot of work to be done ahead of the World Cup, Baitieri sees the first step as drafting a new constitution.

“It’s not something that we’re going to solve overnight,” Baitieri said.

“It will take the best part of 15 months, I believe, to do it properly, so we don’t have a repeat of the dramas we’ve had over the last three years.”

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