Media reports say controversial Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko has been issued a “stern warning“ by World Rugby to refrain from interfering with Rugby matters in the country [see story below].
World Rugby is the international governing body for Rugby Union and has a zero-tolerance policy on political interference. It views the issue so seriously it could suspend PNG teams from participating in regional and international tournaments.
But Rugby Union is not the only rugby code where Minister Tkatchenko is heavily involved.
Justin Tkatchenko is the sole shareholder of PNG Rugby League Foundation Limited, where he is also a director.
PNG Rugby League Foundation is, in turn, the sole shareholder in PNG NRL Bid Limited, where Tkatchenko is also, again, a director.
So Tkatchenko owns both PNG Rugby League Foundation Limited and PNG NRL Bid Limited and sits on the board of both companies.
But his involvement doesn’t end there. Justin Tkatchenko is also a director for Team Kumuls Limited, owned by Sandis Tsaka.
How is that for political interference!
Minister Tkatchenko has recently applied for planning permission to build a lavish multi-million dollar estate in the exclusive Brisbane, Australia, suburb of Brookfield.
World Rugby Warns PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatechenko
Source: NBC News/ PNG Today
Papua New Guinea Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko has been issued a stern warning by World Rugby to refrain from interfering with Rugby matters in the country, NBC reports.
The warning comes after Tkatchenko verbally announced the election of Steven Kami as the interim president-elect for PNG Rugby Football Union during the official launching of the Jonah Lomah Legacy Cup late last year.
In a letter dated December 2016, World Rugby to asked Minister Tkatchenko not to show further involvement in governance matters of the PNG Rugby Football Union.
This warning also comes at a time when the PNGRFU remains in a dispute over its constitution and who to hold the head of the office in the country.
Under its bylaws, World Rugby has a zero-tolerance on political interference, with the consequence of suspending the countries representative teams from participating in regional and international tournaments.
The letter goes on to say further involvement by the Minister may jeopardise rugby’s national teams participation in regional and international tournaments.
World Rugby is sending an observer from Oceania Rugby to attend a selected PNGRFU Annual General Meeting, to ensure all agendas are ironed out before a new president is elected.
Minister Tkatchenko’s office confirmed with NBC News, they had received the letter and details of his response will be made public when World Rugby confirms receipt of the Minister’s response.