The PNGNRL Board in statement today, said the claim by Hela Wigman that the change of venue from Lae to Kokopo was not correct.
The Grand Final venue was resolved in a board meeting held on July 29th with Lae and Kokopo as the two possible venues.
The PNGNRL board in its statement said that, neither Mr. Hetra nor any Wigman representatives were present at this meeting, where it was agreed that based on the outcome of last weekend’s preliminary finals, the venue would be decided based on criteria including quality of the ground, safety and security of players and officials and the expected crowd behaviour based on past experience.
The board requested through PNGRFL CEO, Brad Tassel, that Queensland Rugby League would provide referees on the condition that Kokopo be the venue.
PNGNRL would like to make mention that this is not the first time a host team has managed the grand finals.
Last year the Vipers hosted both the preliminary finals in Port Moresby against Gurias and the grand finals against Lahanis.
Chairman Sudhir Guru said that Wigman through these actions may have missed the opportunity to showcase the spirit of Hela and the capability to play at the biggest platform in the National Rugby League.
He also said that PNGNRL has never experienced this before, and the Hela Wigman must comply with the board’s decision.
If the team doesn't travel to Kokopo, there will be no game in Lae and will be the end of the 2014 Digicel Cup Season.
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