“It’s their choice,” MMT interim chair says as players continue threats to stay off the field

    Interim Mate Ma’a board chair George Koloamatangi seems resigned to losing at least some of the current team.

    “We will be contacting the players this afternoon,” Koloamatangi told a press conference yesterday.

    “We still want them to play for Tonga. But it’s their choice.”

    Andrew Fifita has gone on line to threaten that the current players will refuse to play if Koloamatangi and Clive Edwards are not removed from the board.

    “We need friends, family and fans get behind the players of MMT and help bring our coaching staff back…As players we will not take part in the world 9s and the  test matches at the end of the year,“  Fifita wrote.

    As Kaniva news reported earlier this week, the Mate Ma’a players threatened to pull out of any further involvement with Mate Ma’a Tonga if their complaints against the interim board were not resolved.

    The team players claimed the interim board had breached agreements they made in their first meeting.

    Tongan Broadcasting Commission quoted from a letter allegedly sent by the players which said:  “…we will be withdrawing from the World Nines to be played in October 2019 and considering a position for the upcoming Tests against Great Britain and Australia.”

    Koloamatangi said he would be flying to Australia next week to meet with the players.

    Sacked

    The interim board confirmed it sacked Woolf at a press conference yesterday.

    Interim board chair George Koloamatangi said it was not an easy decision but it was done because there were a number of issues the board and Woolf could not agree on.

    “Things like looking for sponsorship and managing the team, negotiating with sponsors,” he said.

    “But that is the responsibility of the home federation [TNRLB].”

    He said these responsibilities were handled previously by Woolf before the new board was selected

    Woolf was sacked by e-mail.

    Koloamatangi e-mailed Woolf saying he had tried calling him and had left a message on his phone.

    “We held a board meeting yesterday and the board resolved to remove you from the head coach of the Tonga National Rugby League team (MMT) it was unanimous,” the e-mail said.

    “We also met with all the clubs today and they have endorsed the decision therefore since there were no objections I am conveying the decision of the board.”

    Koloamatangi  said the board had not heard back from Woolf after his dismissal although they said they had been trying to contact him.

    The main points

    • Interim Mate Ma’a board chair George Koloamatangi seems to be resigned to losing at least some of the current team.
    • “We will be contacting the players this afternoon,” Koloamatangi told a press conference yesterday.
    • “We still want them to play for Tonga. But it’s their choice.”

    For more information

    Andrew Fifita lodges complaints against interim National League board; players threatened to pull out of Mate Ma’a Tonga

    Jason Taumalolo’s father wants to “leave son alone;” complaint letter was unsigned, says Television Tonga

    Tonga players threaten strike action over coaches sacking, offer ultimatum

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/115593818/tonga-players-threaten-strike-action-over-coaches-sacking-offer-ultimatum

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