TNRL Board Secretary lawyer Clive Edwards Jr. Photo/Facebook (Matani Nifofa)

The Tongan Supreme Court has issued an order prohibiting Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby League and the Tongan government from governing rugby league in the kingdom.

The government backed the Tonga Sports Council to run rugby league in Tonga.

The ruling from Judge Niu comes after the Rugby League International Federation suspended the Tongan National Rugby League.

The RLIF suspended the membership of the TNRL on Thursday.

The TNRL board has lost the support of key players including Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita after it sacked national coach Kristian Woolf.

Players threatened to boycott upcoming tests against Australia and Great Britain unless the Tongan league’s chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards were removed.

The world league body is expected to endorse the Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby League, which is backed by the Tongan Sports Council, and supported by players and Tongan Government.

Australian rugby league boss Peter Beattie wanted the TNRL to appoint a new board.

“It is untenable for a national administration that doesn’t have the support of its government or players to continue,” he said.

Beattie has also opposed plans to offer a place on the Tongan team to  Israel Folau.

However, Judge’s Niu’s ruling has changed the situation.

According to a copy of a court report seen by Kaniva news, Judge Niu ruled that  Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby League and the Tongan government could not select coaches, managers or staff of the TNRL team.

They were prohibited from doing anything that might stop the plaintiffs – George Koloamatangi, Petuliki Mafile’o and the TNRL – from governing rugby league in Tonga.

In his summing up of the case, Judge Niu said his decision could be appealed.

The main points

  • The Tongan supreme Court has issued an order prohibiting Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby League and the Tongan government from governing rugby league in the kingdom.
  • The ruling from Judge Niu comes after the Rugby League International Federation suspended the Tongan National Rugby League.

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