Sepik Pride’s exclusion explained

The EMK Sepik Pride has come out clear on their omission from the 2024 Digicel ExxonMobil Cup competition.

Sepik Pride co-founder Bradley Simon, who has been the main man behind the birth of the East Sepik franchise, confirms that EMK Sepik Pride was demoted from the semi-professional Rugby League Competition on the grounds of ‘Governance and Finance.’

“The main two reasons behind this decision are Governance and financial capacity and it all goes to our board not getting governance in place as soon as possible; also the non-payment of the naming rights fees. That got us at the end,” said Simon.

He added that some clubs are facing this issue too but EMK Sepik Pride looked like an easy push, as the club didn’t have big sponsors.

While admitting that he was embarrassed about the decision, Simon respected the decision of the PNG National Rugby League Commission and vowed to make a comeback.

He said the Sepik Pride would still return in the National Semi-Professional Rugby League competition in the forthcoming years. The team will now go and work on the areas they missed in their inaugural season and come back strong, once accepted back into the competition.

 Meanwhile, East Sepik Province Governor Allen Bird expressed similar sentiments. He said everyone should know their place in the organization to improve the governance of the team - which was one of the reasons for them being axed from the competition.

“The club is suspended for just one season, which is good news too. It gives the team time to get the house in order, as this is a learning experience.”

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