by Skola Sengi – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
A Queensland Rugby League match official, invited to officiate the Intercity Cup Grand Final between the Agmark Gurias and TNA Lions, was assaulted following the match on Saturday afternoon.
With violence plaguing the competition for a number of years now, it continued a worrying trend that marred an otherwise exciting encounter.
The incident sparked a public uproar on social media, with followers of the code, fans and supporters of both grand final teams condemning such behaviour.
Spectator violence remains the biggest issue in the code, with clubs and individuals slapped with hefty fines and bans in relation to these incidents.
Minister for Sports, Justin Tkatchenko, in a press conference today said, “we will not accept this kind of behaviour in rugby league or any sport.”
“I want to make this very clear, that alcohol and sport don’t mix, they never mix and we will never tolerate drunken intoxicated behaviour by spectators or officials.
“We will be using this official as an example on what not to do. Let him be banned, let him be arrested for assault and let him be used as an example of what we will not tolerate when it comes to sport in PNG. Whether it’s rugby league, soccer or union.”
The name of the TNA Lions official has not been released, however he was arrested for assault just minutes after the incident occurred.