Caption: Minister for Sports and National events Justin Tkatchenko making the announcement to media on Thursday at his office at Parliament House.
By FIDELIS SUKINA
PNG rugby union players have something to look forward to as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) looms for an opportunity to travel to Argentina.
Minister for Sports and National events Justin Tkatchenko revealed on Thursday that a meeting with him and Ambassador of Argentina to PNG Dr Hugo Javier Gobbi, has sparked a likely partnership that will see, three or four players in PNG travel to Argentina on a training program to enhance their rugby skills.
Dr Gobbi resides in Canberra, Australia.
“I had a meeting with the ambassador on Tuesday and he wanted to help rugby union, the ambassador wants to get three or four Papua New Guineas to train and be part of the Argentinian Rugby Union system in Argentina,” he said.
“Who ever that is selected through the criteria will have a life time experience, currently in Argentina the sport of Rugby Union is very well run and managed and organized and is highly regarded.”
Argentina who are currently ranked 9th in the International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings can help PNG which are ranked 69th.
Tkatchenko said he was surprised that Argentina was opening its doors to PNG. He said PNG Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) was in disarray at the moment and for countries to help PNG we must get the administration of the PNGRFU in order.
He said a MOU will be signed by the two nations and will be administered through the foreign affairs department sometime towards the end of this year.
“For those Papua New Guineans selected they will be going to a country that takes rugby union very seriously and for Argentina to open the doors to PNG is very good,” Tkatchenko said.
“We will be signing anMOU details still yet to be concreted but the incentive to do so is there. Tthis was sort of a surprise Rugby Union in PNG is going through a lot of issues in administration so far this point in time.
“That’s why its very important to have rugby union to get their act together to get the right administration to get the board in their and get on to promoting the sport we don’t want to be all over the place these are internationally accredited rugby nations that want to help us so we have to get our act together.”