Mt Hagen Eagles, the club whose coach triggered the horrendous post-match violence in Papua New Guniea last week, have been suspended from the Digicel Cup for three years.
One man, Joe Pidik, was confirmed as having died as a result of an assault sustained during the outbreak, which happened in the wake of the Eagles’ Digicel Cup semi-final defeat to Rabaul Gurias in Port Moresby.
The incident was sparked by one of the Eagles officials punching the match referee, which led to a pitch invasion, and a terrifying riot in which police drew their guns and were forced to use tear gas.
The PNGRFL confirmed the decision at a press conference at the Sir John Guise Stadium on Monday.
PNGNRL administrator Stanley Hondina outlined the following punishments for both clubs who were involved in the tragic semi-final.
A harsh line has been taken to set a precedent, as violence continues to disrupt the game of rugby league in PNG.
They were as follows:
Wamp Nga Mt. Hagen Eagles:
The Eagles have been suspended from taking part in the Digicel Cup competition for the next three years (2017-2019).
The third place prize money of K20, 000 is to be forfeited to meet the cost of damages done on the day.
The team assistant trainer, Stanley Akinu has been banned for life from partaking in PNGNRL sanctioned competitions and is never to be seen within 50 metres of PNGRNL competitions.
Eagles player- Francis Ray has been suspended for 10 years as a player and official in any PNGNRL sanctioned competitions.
Eagles player and captain- Junior Rau has been suspended for 10 years as a player and official in any PNGNRL sanctioned competitions.
Civil charges have been laid against Stanley Akinu and Junior Rau and is a police matter now.
The Agmark Rabaul Gurias:
Four players (Francis Paniu, Samuel Hamari, Lucas Kapinias and Adrian Baungus) have been charged for breach of players’ code of conduct against spectators. They have been charged K5,000 each.
This fine must be paid before the commencement of the 2017 Digicel Cup season.
The four players will also serve a five match suspension (first 5 games) for the 2017 season.
Both clubs have the right to appeal the decisions.