Request for a decision on the referee in the Tonga v England Semi-Final at Mt Smart Stadium – 25th November 2017
27 November, 2017.
1. I am not a lawyer but a keen sports fan, notably rugby league. I paid Digicel to watch on TV the rugby league semi-final between Tonga v England on 25th November 2017.
2. I read a copy of a letter by one of our lawyers addressed to the President and Board Members of the Rugby League International Federation to overrule the decision of the referee Matt Cecchin and award Tonga a try and declare it the winner over England in their rugby match last Saturday.
3. The expression of concern and demand for an explanation by the Rugby League International Federation appears to me to be outrageous and scandalous. This is a sporting event and the referee has made a decision which sadly, though it may be, will be upheld by the appropriate authority and as a result the letter of concern can only be described as sour grapes. The points raised in the letter are frivolous to say the least but I accept it because of the patriotism and support for the Mate Ma’a Tonga League. However, it should be said that we all support the team but it is no reason for that support for us to act in an unsporting fashion in the way that the letter have personally attacked the referee’s integrity and mental sanity.
4. The letter of concern has raised memories of the past events in Tonga on Friday nights when the brass bands used to play at Pangai Si’i, Nuku’alofa to entertain the people. The Friday night musical events used to be called in Tonga the “po ifi”.
5. The expression “po ifi” has an ambiguous meaning but the common meaning ascribed to “po ifi” is associated with defeat in an unflattering manner.
6. The Mate Ma’a Tonga League team performed outstandingly during the world series and particularly in the game with England. In the last 10 minutes of that game, Tonga changed the whole game and did what England had been trying to do in the 70 minutes. The last move with Elliot Whitehead stripping the ball off Andrew Fifita will always be an unforgettable event of a great game. I believe that many people throughout the world congratulated Tonga on a great performance. It lost, BUT THAT IS SPORTS.
7. I would respectfully urge the sender of the letter to stop this non-sense of accusing the referee and describing him as a depressed person with a mental health history. Tonga is a sporting nation and please don’t make Tonga look like a “po ifi”.
8. We should move on with pride as the letter will not alter the result or the game.
Die for Tonga