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The Papua New Guinea Rugby League has been granted Conditional Approval by the State of Emergency (SOE) Controller following a submission made on its revised 2020 Season Plan under the “Banis Protocol” program on May 7, 2020.

SOE Controller David Manning in a letter to PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka yesterday (May 27, 2020 congratulated the PNGRFL team on its efforts put into the submission.

“In fact it is the only one received thus far from any sporting body within PNG which gives due consideration to the COVID-19 health protocols for the new normal after the State of Emergency,” Manning said.

He said the submission was detailed and thorough with emphasis centred around players and officials.

‘I will give approval for the PNGRFL to recommence with only one domestic competition under a revised model, but subject to the following two conditions being met” Manning said.

The two conditions relate to detailed protocols on spectator control and detailed training plans for doctors, physios and club medics on COVID-19 virus and protocols.

“The one competition can allow the PNGRFL to better mitigate the risks and opportunity to adjust and improve to be fully compliant with COVID- 19 protocols under the new normal,” Manning said.

PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said operational plans for the 2020 Digicel Cup to kick off it’s season will be made known soon.

“We are grateful for the positive feedback and with our partners are greatly encouraged by this approval to kick off one competition and that will be our professional premier competition – the Digicel Cup,” Tsaka said.

PNGNRLC Chairman, Adrian Chow said, “The PNGNRLC is very thankful for the SOE Controller’s considered response and approval which allows our Digicel Cup to go ahead in 2020. With most of our NRL and SP Hunters players participating, the competition will be of the highest standard and will give our developing players the opportunity to play with the best.”

Mr. Tsaka said “We look forward to presenting to the SOE controller our revised “Match Day Banis Protocols” and the “Banis Protocol Stakeholder Engagement” Strategy which addresses the two conditions the SOE controller has raised, to ensure the competition can start.”