Lord Fakafanua (L), MP Semisi Sika

MP Semisi Sika has been appointed the new chairman of Tonga Rugby League and Speaker Lord Fakafanua has been elected as the new president taking over from ousted Siaosi Koloamatangi.

Sika, the former president of the sport in Tonga, has confirmed his appointment to Kaniva News this evening.

Local businessman John Paul Chapman has been elected for the role of Finance Director.

It is understood the election took place after an Implementation Committee, appointed by International Rugby League (IRL) to find directors for a new governing body for Tonga’s rugby league, which will then seek to regain membership of IRL.

The election results came after what appear to be conflicting reports yesterday with Kaniva News reporting the Minister of Internal Affairs Vatau Hui saying he has not been made aware of the new board IRL said its Implementation Committee has established and that MP Sika and Lord Fakafanua had been shortlisted as candidates for the new board’s leadership.

Hui said the government has its own proposed new board at the request of the IRL and it will be submitted to the international body shortly. He said the proposed board did not include any of the members of the former controversial boards in Tonga.

Meanwhile, Talaki Online has reported yesterday that the International Court of Arbitration for Sports has ordered IRL to stop any further actions on what it has been doing for Tonga league because of an alleged appeal by the ousted Tonga National Rugby League Board.

RIF reported two international players Will Hopoate and Tonga Captain Sika Manu were new Board members appointed by the Implementation Committee.

“As a part of the organisation’s proposed new governance structure, player representation on the board has been introduced and current international player Will Hopoate and former Tonga captain Sika Manu have been elected by the national team squad to take up those positions,” RIF reports.

“IRL CEO Nigel Wood has also been in contact with Prime Minister, Hon Pohiva Tu’ionetoa, and IRL would like to thank him and his government for their support and encouragement of this process. The government has committed to working closely with IRL to see the restoration of Tonga to the international rugby league community.