By SHIRLYN BELDEN – The National, July 19
DRASTIC measures are being taken to combat sports related violence in PNG, Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko (right) told Parliament yesterday (last Thursday).
He also blamed the violence on alcohol consumption.
Tkatchenko was responding to West New Britain Governor Muthuvel Sasindran who asked if the sports ministry was serious in fighting the increasing sports related violence.
“All these problems of violence in sports and violence related to sports are alcohol related. I have started to take drastic steps to address this problem and I will ensure that it is addressed effectively,” he said.
The minister said he had asked SP Brewery to assist with strategic ways to deal with the problem by diverting the idea and practice of alcohol consumption during sports matches in a clear and benefiting approach for players and spectators.
Tkatchenko also condemned the recent incident in Wabag where a man was killed and two vehicles burned, saying it was “an absolute disgrace” to sports and a disaster to the community.
“I will effectively deal with this issue. It is a problem and will grow if we don’t address it properly. Alcohol cannot go along with sports, that is very wrong. We are looking at ways to ensure such problems do not recur. I will talk to the different sporting foundations and arms, partners and departments to work with us to solve this. The sporting fraternity and government do not tolerate such and I assure the House that the problem will be fixed,” he said.