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Kumul players prevented from speaking to the media

Staff Reporter 1/20/2013 | | |

RESIDENT Kumuls and their coaches have been gagged by the interim Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League board.
In a directive, the interim board has stopped all statements to the media from any personnel on its roster, including Residents XIII players and coaches.
Interim board member representing Southern region Mairi Gwaibo confirmed this yesterday when asked for comments with regard to Saturday’s board meeting.
“We did a press ban, only the chairman (Don Fox) does the press releases, so I can’t say anything about the meeting,” Gwaibo said.
“It is only proper to allow Fox to make the announcement.”
But Fox was unable to comment.
“You’ve caught me at a bad time so call me tomorrow morning,” Fox said.
The ban was put in place apparently to restrict statements to pre-empt preparations for the World Cup by the Kumuls. The blanket ban comes after players and officials spoke to the (The National) media last on their hopes, aspirations and determination on donning for the national colours for the game against NRL club South Sydney and the World Cup in England.
Those statements infuriated the board, while it works towards setting its course.
It is believed speculation by this newspaper on the number of overseas-based players to be included in the World Cup squad lead to the ban.
A formal announcement and confirmation regarding the team schedule and the Kumuls World Cup staff particularly will be made after the clash against the Rabbitohs.
“I think its ... some people might not be giving out factual information about all the arrangements for South Sydney,” Gwaibo said.
“No-one is supposed to talk about the World Cup, they shouldn’t go ahead and talk about the international players.”
An announcement is expected today after another meeting at the Holiday Inn.
Inside reports have pointed to NRL Bid chief executive officer Brad Tassel’s possible major role in the interim board’s plans.
The Residents Kumuls side will go into camp on Sunday, with coach Adrian Lam expected in the country two days earlier.
The side will go through their first fitness session and will camp in Port Moresby before leaving for the Cabramatta 9s in Sydney.
That tournament will be used as the team’s warm-up for the Return to Redfern spectacle against the Rabbitohs on Feb 9.
The National

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