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Papua New Guinea

Dabaris naming rights sponsors terminated

Rugby League

The PNG National Rugby League Competition has confirmed the termination of Vitis Industries as naming rights sponsors of Central Dabaris.

PNGNRLC chairman Adrian Chow confirmed this in a statement a short time ago following a board meeting earlier this week.

Chow said a letter was sent to Dabaris chairman Keith Iduhu on Wednesday advising him of the PNGNRLC board’s decision on Tuesday May 21 that Vitis Industries sponsorship under their brand ‘Fortuna Fresh’ is terminated with effect immediately.

“The Dabaris board wrote to us on May 9, advising of Vitis withdrawal of sponsorship,” Chow said.

“Some of my board members met with the Dabaris board and their sponsor to hear each party’s views and grievances in mediation process that meeting concluded without any resolution,” he said.

He said following this meeting, there was publications on social media by Vitis in associating it’s alcohol brand with the franchise.

“During the bid process, the PNGNRLC explained to representatives of Central Dabaris and Vitis Industries the requirements relating to product category branding exclusivity to current PNGNRLC Platinum sponsor, and conditions relating to same were set out in the participation agreement,” Chow said.

He said Vitis Industries has not signed a sponsorship agreement with Central Dabaris.

“Therefore, our view is that any verbal agreement or understanding was terminated in writing by the Central Dabaris board on May 9, ” he said.

“And we will go with that decision.”

Chow said as a consequence, all branding of “Fortuna Fresh” will be removed from the playing uniforms before round 8 is played on Sunday May 26.

He said Vitis Industries should not hold itself out as being associated with the PNGNRLC managed Digicel Cup competition in future.

“I have requested the Dabaris chairman to submit a report by June 7, on any new sponsors, evidence of financial resources and liabilities and a budget in the short term.”

Chow has directed PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina to meet with the Dabaris management to assist with player welfare issues.

“It is our job to manage a competition that is played by 12 teams,” Chow said.

“It is our job to ensure a safe and competitive environment for all teams to compete in.

“And we will do anything within our power to ensure that happens week in week out.

“We expect the Central Dabaris to sort their in-house issue and come out in full strength and compete on Sunday.

“And for the rest of the season,” Chow said.

He urged all franchises and their sponsors to settle any disagreements internally.

“Any disagreements and differences must be sorted out internally. When it gets out in public, this brings the game and competition into dispute.”

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