Sport: PNG Rugby League to elect new permanent board
Papua New Guinea Rugby League Federation is poised to finally elect a new permanent administration at Friday's AGM in Lae.
After numerous false starts, the Papua New Guinea Rugby League Federation is poised to finally elect a new permanent administration at Friday's AGM in Lae.
The national body had been plagued by in-fighting and court battles until the government intervened last year and persuaded the competing factions to work together.
The Interim CEO of the PNGRFL, Brad Tassell, told Vinnie Wylie he expects that stability to continue once a new board is in place.
BRAD TASSELL: The past four or five years it's no secret that it has been an absolute, complete mess, but the last six months have been fantastic. There's been a very good level of co-operation between governments and all stakeholders in rugby league.
VINNIE WYLIE: There seems to be quite a bit of investment in the sport recently, as well, especially from the government. How much does that help all the parties that perhaps may have differences? When you've got funding of the game you can actually do things and address any issues that come up.
BT: To have the backing of the PNG government behind the number one sport in Papua New Guinea is very important. As a result of that, we've been able to attract significant sponsorship from private investors. We've also been able to attract some significant rugby league people from around the world, including Mal Meninga. It's a big coup for the programme, it's a big coup for Papua new Guinea and something that can help us move forward.
VW: Of course, it is a World Cup year, so that's very important that the Kumuls are competitive in the northern hemisphere later this year. Just getting a permanent board in place with a permanent chairman and everything set up will help those foundations.
BT: I think the key word is stability. We need to have stability in the PNGRFL and hopefully that'll continue after the AGM on Friday, which we're pretty confident about. Then putting in place the programme, Team Kumul, headed up by Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam, it's been a godsend for the preparation of the international team and the players will appreciate it. They're being trained at a higher level now to be able to compete on an international basis. The preparation and the planning has been light years ahead of what it used to be.
VW: In terms of nominations, you've got two people that have put their names forward to be chairman - Don Fox and John Numapo, a few nominations for the various zones and one for deputy chair. Regardless of who gets those positions, are you confident that they can work together with each other, which perhaps hasn't been the case in the past?
BT: Yeah, very confident. The guys that have been nominated in their respective regions for directors understand what needs to be done to move the game forward, have got great visions. They have been a part of the process over the last six months in getting rugby league back on track. Don Fox as chairman is just a very good stabilising influence in regard to rugby league in the country, as well. He's a very quiet and humble man, but a very thoughtful man, as well. He understands what needs to be done to get rugby league back on track. So we're pretty confident that things will go the right way and that PNGRFL will be stabilised for the long term.
VW: After tomorrow there will be a permanent board, as opposed to what's currently an interim board. What difference does that make? What more powers does that give the people that are elected?
BT: It's a three-year term. So what it means is it gives stability instead of over a short-term period of six months, which is what the interim board had, it gives them stability now over a three-year period, which is very good for the game and allows them to put in plans that need to be done for the good of the game going forward.
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