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Mal Meninga caught in legal fight over PNG coaching role

'Big' Mal Meninga - PNG legendTYSON OTTO | | Extract

RUGBY league legend Mal Meninga has been swept up into a bizarre legal stoush that’s broken out between feuding officials in Papua New Guinean rugby league.

Meninga amicably parted company with the PNG Rugby League last week to take up a new role as Australian coach, and does not suggest he has acted improperly.

However, the 55-year-old looks set to be named first defendant in a legal stoush, with the CEO of a Papua New Guinea league taking issue with the PNGRL’s management of the game in that country.

Coca Cola Ipatas Cup chief executive Timothy Lepa claims Meninga breached his contract with the PNGRFL, reportedly worth more than $2.5 million over five years.

Meninga was less than three years through the contract, which was set to expire at the end of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup to be held in Australia, New Zealand and PNG.

Lepa has indicated Meninga will be first defendant in the lawsuit while PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka is listed as second defendant along with outgoing PNGRFL chief Brad Tassel as third defendant.

It has been reported Meninga’s contract was paid for with public money through a government fund, with Lepa indicating he is taking his legal action on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea.

“This is the first step to uncover the gross mismanagement and corruption at the PNG Rugby League,” Lepa said in a statement.

“Where tax payers money is being used to pay consultants and officials in the PNG Rugby League who have been benefiting of this money, and thus hindering the progress and development of rugby league at the Junior and grass roots level.

“Once the Court uncovers the breach in Meninga’s contract then all contracts of technical advisers and board directors in the PNG Rugby League will be tabled in court so the court can review the legality of these contracts and decide if they are legal or illegal contracts.

“Many of the PNG Rugby League business ventures are currently operational, however the profits derived from these business ventures are not being felt at the rural and grassroots level where rugby league is struggling and slowly dying.

“Most of the profits are being used by the board members and technical advisers who benefit of this thus ignoring the plight of rugby league in PNG.

“As an advocate of rugby league development in the rural leagues, rural associations are still suffering even though the National Government has pledged funding to help support and grow League in rural areas.

“This only highlights that all funding allocated is being used and mismanaged at the national level by administrators and technical advisers.”


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Francis Nii

If there is any breach and mismanagement as alleged, it's upto the court to prove them and that's the proper way.

Jack Klomes

I really don't like the tone of this article....

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