By Mickey Kavera – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, is disappointed over Mal Meninga’s move to coach the Australian Kangaroos.
He says it would have been best if Mal informed the PNG Rugby Football League Board, and himself as the minister responsible for sports.
Justin hopes a suitable candidate is chosen for the Kumuls top job.
Tkatchenko wants the drama surrounding Mal Meninga’s move to the Kangaroos settled once and for all.
Although acknowledging Mal’s contribution to rugby league in Papua New Guinea, he is very much disappointed in the manner in which it was executed.
“I am disappointment with Mal’s decision to move to the Kangaroos as the PNGRFL Board and myself have not been consulted.”
He says, Mal cannot hold two coaching jobs and must tender his resignation as the Kumuls coach.
He wants proper consultation and processes followed by all stakeholders to ensure the Kumuls top job is secured.
“Mal has to return to the Kangaroo and hand in his resignation and move on from there,” he said.
Though speculations have emerged about Wayne Bennett been the likely replacement, Tkatchenko believes it is time a Papua New Guinean takes on the role.
He has tipped the Hunters Coach, Michael Marum, but it is up to PNGRFL to decide.
“It is not for me to decide but Michael Marum has proven himself already and it is time a Papua New Guinean is given the top role.”
These are exciting times for the PNG Kumuls, with the 2017 World Cup and Tkatchenko has given his support to ensure the Kumuls are given priority.