Papua New Guinea Sports and National Events Minister Justine Tkatchenko has come under fire from the Opposition again.
This time the Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye has taken the minister and his rugby league board to task over PNG’s low ranking of the World Rugby League standard.
“Our love for rugby league does not complement well with PNG being placed at the 11th spot, seven places far below its fellow Pacific Island nation Samoa, which is on the 4thspot and five places below Fiji’s 6th spot in the World Rugby League index.
“It is an embarrassment as the biggest slice of our taxpayers’ money has been taken by rugby league yet with has less improvement,” said Polye.
He has called on a shift in funding priority for rugby to other sporting codes like soccer, swimming, rugby union among others, in which ‘our sports personnel excel’.
“We cannot continue to waste taxpayers’ money in a sporting code which secures low ranking in the world index,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said when they were in government, they would do their best to improve on this through the guidance of top ranking countries in the commonwealth like Australia, England and New Zealand.
“We will do this if it is found through a nationwide workshop that our people still love rugby.Otherwise, we will change our funding priority from rugby to others which our people are talented to excel,” said a determined Polye.
He has rubbished ‘sugar talks’ by the PNGRFL board that the country was still a champion in the region, say it should get down to the basics to polish the ranking in the next assessment.