The management and Board of the Papua New Guinea National Rugby League have made a response considering the recent incidents that happened at the Lae Rugby League Oval in Morobe Province during Round eight of the National Rugby League Competition.
Firstly, the management and Board of the PNGNRLC have encouraged that all media outlets report responsibly, as in the case of what factually happened in the recent match at Lae Rugby League Oval that led to Monday’s misleading reporting made this week.
The incidents that happened were very unfortunate and the PNGNRLC requested statements from all parties involved in the incidents that occurred.
Reports have been received from the match officials that officiated the double header in Lae between Lae Snax Tigers and Enga Provincial Government Mioks (including the teams involved), as well as the reports from match officials of the PRK Mendi Muruks and Bintangor Goroka Lahanis match.
The PNGNRLC does not condone any form of violence of any sort in the premier competition after taking huge strides to ensure that the sport entirely removes violence by adopting a zero-tolerance policy.
The PNGNRLC Match Review Committee (MRC) met and reviewed the video footage of the games and has identified those involved in the incidents and has laid charges.
The actions of these offenders have breached several PNGNRLC rules and guidelines and will not be taken lightly.
The performances of match referees are also being reviewed.
The penalties for the players and club officials involved in the incidents have been served to their respective clubs today.
This will see Bintangor Goroka Lahanis player, Roger Kenny will serve a 7-match ban for disputing the match referee’s decision and breaking the laws of the game by conducting himself in a way contrary to the rules of the game.
Fellow Lahanis player Charlie Buka will serve a 2-match ban for disputing the match referee’s decision thus bringing the game into disrepute.
Also from Lae Snax Tigers, player Charlie Simon will serve a 6-match ban for charges of using offensive language and misconduct.
Simon has been charged for breaking the rules of the game by running onto the field of play after full-time and verbally abusing the match referee.
His actions a serious breach of conduct as captain of the club.
Tigers’ club officials, Jerry Kutz and David Loko have also been banned from attending any Digicel ExxonMobil Cup matches for five years effective immediately.
They will not be attending any matches for the rest of the 2023 season until after the 2027 season and must not be seen within 100 meters of any venues hosting the competition.
These penalties come after them partaking in assaulting (punching) the match referee after fulltime.
Additionally, both franchises Lae Snax Tigers and Bintangor Goroka Lahanis will be fined for bringing the game into disrepute and tarnishing the image of the competition as a recommendation by the MRC and therefore the Board will hand down fines deemed appropriate to both franchises.
Meanwhile, the PNGNRLC has started working on programs designed to educate franchises on all forms of violence whether it be gender-based violence, match official violence, and on-field/off-field violence.
The charges handed down by the MRC to the offenders will send a firm message and stronger warning to all clubs and their supporters to have more respect towards match officials and the competition.
The safety and security of our players, our match officials and supporters will not be compromised by disrespectful individuals.