Thursday, July 11, 2013

PNG rugby league chief denies sport is a magnet for violence after Highlands riot


Rugby League officials in Papua New Guinea say the sport is not a magnet for violence despite a riot in the Highlands over the weekend which left one person dead.
The brawl happened near the end of a local rugby league game between the Lae Snax Tigers from Morobe Province and the Enga Mioks from the Enga Province.
PNG Rugby League has banned all remaining games at that ground for the rest of the year.
Its president Graham Osborne has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the brawl is an isolated incident which was started by a drunk man.
"It appears it happened outside the ground, but the thing is security...was not very good at the ground and that's why the suspension was done," he said.
"These people were allowed inside the grounds with very primitive weapons and other bits and pieces, the fight actually started outside the the ground and then entered inside the ground."
Mr Osborne says he does not believe this incident is a set back for PNG's bid to enter Australia's NRL competition.
He says the people of Wabag have been leading the outcry over the incident, because they want to see more league at their ground.
"We're not going to tolerate these sort of things," he said.
"But you know, we live in Papua New Guinea and these sort of things happen from time to time.
"Sometimes we try to take the game to outside areas - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't."

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