Their decision will not stop the games from going ahead Cook Islands Rugby League Association president Charles Carlson says.
“Some referees have chosen to boycott the game and that is their decision to do so but the game will carry on regardless,” says Carlson.
The issue between the referees association and national competition coordinator Taua Benioni has been bubbling away behind closed doors until it became public last Saturday when the scheduled reserve and premier grade match between the Arorangi Bears and Ngatangiia Sea Eagles was called off by club officials due to a no-show by referees.
It has come to light that this “no show” by referees appointed for the day was due to a text message from senior referees that the game had been cancelled.
This led to the two games being called off and much confusion.
At Monday’s club league weekly meeting Benioni, as club competition coordinator was given the task to sort the matter out.
“Mr Benioni is the Cook Islands Rugby League Coordinator for our national competition and was given the task at our CIRL meeting on Monday to sort these issues concerning the referees association. These include the appointment of referees and concerns raised by the clubs with the referees,” says Carlson.
“Mr Benioni will continue with the appointment of referees until such time that CIRL is satisfied with the proposed changes to ensure the success of the game in moving forward.”
Carlson commends those referees that have put the interest of the game first and remained committed to the Cook Islands Rugby League Association and the local competition.
“We apologise to the Arorangi Bears and the Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles players, fans and supporters for the mis-communication on Saturday resulting in teams defaulting their games. We acknowledge the support and understanding between the two club management to resolve this issue and the games will be played.”