Capital Rugby Union has done a tremendous job and moved in swiftly to sports related violence. Many would have viewed on social media a video of the unfortunate incident involving two rugby players at Bava Park last weekend.
The CRU has released a press statement on the issue and it clearly shows the strong stance the Union has taken on this issue. It’s also great to see the affected club in this incident show their co-operation in ensuring that there is no place for violence in sport.
Here’s the full script of the press release.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
Before I begin I would like to thank you all for attending today’s press conference. The purpose of this press conference is for us, as the cru, to make an official statement:
- on the unfortunate and deeply distressing incident that occurred last sunday, 06th of may 2018, at bava rugby park; and
- the actions that have and shall be taken to ensure that this has been adequately addressed, in the best interest of all our stakeholders the incident occurred on field 1, during the first premier grade match between the nova rugby football union club and the Harlequins Rugby Football Union Club.
Avosa Kaipu of the harlequins rugby football club after departing field 1, walked back into the playing arena to the technical zone where the team officials and players of the nova rugby football union club were seated and physically assaulted and chased elipema kini with an iron pole.
Avosa was restrained by the cru match officials and members of the harlequins rugby football club, who calmed him down and quelled the situation.
Our thoughts and prayers go to:
- Elipema Kini, who is not only nursing a season ending injury, but is also dealing with the mental trauma of what he had experienced;
- Eli’s family, who are dealing with the trauma of knowing and viewing the video footage of what he had endured;
- Avosa Kaipu, who committed the assault and as an avid player, who grew up in and loves the sport of rugby, will have to deal with the consequences of his actions; and our players, supporters and families who were at the field on Sunday, they too are now dealing with the trauma of what they had witnessed.
As a Union we are disappointed, shocked and appalled about last Sunday’s incident, and we were all left asking questions as to what could compel a player to feel so aggrieved, that he felt justified in physically attacking his opponent in the manner that he did.
As a rugby family we share the pain and sorrow of what happened to both these men, whom we all have a connection to.
Under no circumstances does the CRU condone this type of behavior.
All of our clubs including the harlequins rugby football union club are dismayed at the extreme act of violence perpetrated by Avosa.
There is absolutely no place for violence and abuse in sport and rugby union is no exception.
Since my executive and i took office, we have worked tirelessly to change the mind set and culture of the rugby community in the CRU.
We believe that good people make good rugby players and the message that has been permeated to all of our clubs, has been to take ownership of their actions and treat each other with dignity and respect.
Last night the CRU executives and the CRU club presidents, convened a special meeting to address this matter and how we, as a union and member of the PNG sporting fraternity, need to set the precedent moving forward to prevent this from happening again.
I would like to thank all our presidents for their frank and open dialogue and I would also like to thank the harlequins rugby football union club for their cooperation in assisting us to resolve this matter.
Harlequins like all of our clubs in the CRU, have a proud history and have contributed much to the development of rugby in the national capital district and Papua New Guinea.
Their honesty and openness in taking responsibility and ownership of last Sunday’s incident is very much appreciated.
From last night’s meeting it was resolved that:
- Avosa Kaipu of the harlequins rugby football union club is banned for life to take part in or attend any cru sanctioned competition and tournaments. The CRU shall escalate this verdict to the PNG rugby football union to also include a ban from any form of rugby throughout PNG and oversees.
- The CRU shall assist and cooperate with the police in their investigations with regard to Avosa’s actions, in which the incident is now being treated as an assault, with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm.
- For his actions which were considered to be a contributing factor for this unfortunate incident which could have been avoided, Anthony Pangkatana of the harlequins rugby football union club shall be banned for life in taking part as a team official for the club, in any competition or tournament sanctioned by the CRU or any representative team affiliated to the CRU.
- Anthony Pangkatana shall also be banned from attending any CRU sanctioned competitions and tournaments as a spectator, in 2018. From 2019 moving forward a “one strike policy” shall be applied to Anthony Pangkatana. If found to be conducting himself in a manner that brings the CRU and the game of rugby into disrepute, then Anthony Pangkatana shall be banned for life from attending any CRU sanctioned competitions or tournaments.
- The CRU clubs have referred the harlequins rugby football club to the CRU judiciary to deliberate on and impose the appropriate sanctions and penalties against the club. Upon the judiciary passing a verdict we shall make a press statement and advise our stakeholders accordingly.
In the meantime, prior to the judiciary convening, the Harlequins Rugby Football Union Club is suspended from taking further part in the CRU 15 aside competition until further notice.
I would like to conclude by saying that the game of rugby is bigger than any one person, club or association.
As custodians of the game, our legacy will be the condition or state that our sport is in, when we pass the mantle on to the next generation.
As a union we believe we have abided by the rules, regulations, values and principles dictated by world rugby, in addressing this matter.
And in addition we have also shown due care and best practice in responding to the interests of our internal and external stakeholders.
The actions taken by the CRU to address this matter and the precedent set moving forward will not only bode well for the cru but will also serve in the best interests for rugby in Papua New Guinea.
Kori Chan – CRU President