The Goilala Karukas, competing in the Central Province Premier League (CPPL) has been banned for two seasons following the death of a rival team’s supporter from a spectator related violence.
The CPPL through its premier competition saw the inaugural Hardware Haus Agarobe Cup play its Grand Final on Sunday.
It was in the “A” Grade division that the Goilala Karukas met opponents Koairi at the Murray Barracks in Port Moresby.
The game was a close affair with both teams locked at 6 all after the half time break, it was there an on field incident triggered an angered crowd into the contest on field.
The Koiari player was chased to the corner by the Goilala supporters and apparently a knife wound to his leg.
It was later known made that another supporter from Koiari at one end of the field was stabbed on his chest, he died in hospital shortly afterwards.
The CPPL called the game off on a draw.
Today the hard yet blunt decision was handed down by the judiciary made up of the CPPL and its mother body – PNG Rugby Football League Southern Conference.
“Goilala is banned for two years from the competition,” says PNGRFL Southern Conference Director Gwaibo Mairi.
The decision is in line with the constitution of PNGRFL.
A similar decision was taken on the Mt. Hagen eagles when a spectator violence left the Semiprofessional franchise out of competition for two years.
The CPPL split the prize money, K13, 000 to the Koirai team.
As penance for their supporters, the Goilala team took it upon themselves to give K10, 000 from theirs to the wake or haus krai of the deceased.
K1,000 has been forfeited to the Judiciary.
They only took away K2, 000.
“On behalf of our team and supporters from Goilala, we are truly sorry for your loss,” Manai Manai, Team Manager for Goilala Karukas says.
The Goilala Karukas have been consistent this year, even to a point topping the competition points table.
“We are not from one area of Goilala, we are mixed boys and we have come together to form this team,” Team Vice Captain Tepil Tokai says.
“We are dedicated to sports and it has shown in how far we have come. It’s unfortunate it’s come to this as a result of the supporters and we sincerely apologies for whatever they have done,” he adds.
The immediate family of the deceased identified as Patrick Tolove are saddened at the incident.
Cousin and current guardian Morgan Umare accepted the bel kol moni on behalf of the family.
“We are peace loving people and we forgive,” Umare says.
He also appealed to the CPPL to assist in funeral expenses.
The Goilala team has been allowed to appeal the decision of the ban following its willingness to show remorse and give its prize money to the family of the late Tolove.
It is up to the family of the late Tolove to pursue Tolove’s death with police as a criminal matter.
By Bradley Valenaki, EMTV Sports, Port Moresby