Minister Justin Tkatchenko stated earlier that what Gene has done is unprofessional because there was no consultation with either the Hunters management or PNG Rugby Football League.
Gene has come out to say that the players were never forced into signing the contracts and that they had done it on their own will.
Gene stated that if the PNGRFL, PNG Hunters Club and Sports Minister had a problem with that then they must deal directly with him and the Gateshead Thunder Club in England.
“I have been doing this for the last 15 years and I always spoke directly to the players rather than the PNGRFL.
“PNGRFL is not happy with it but the players have signed their contracts and are looking forward to playing in the competition.
“Lo only signed a one year contract with the Hunters which expired in October so he is free to make up his mind to move as he is now eligible to talk to other clubs,” Gene said.
In response, PNGRFL and Hunters Club chief executive officer Brad Tassell said from what they understand, the players were approached months ago while under contract to the Hunters.
Tassell said normal procedure should have been followed and the club approached for permission to talk to the players.
“We are disappointed at the lack of any notification and to date we have still not heard anything official from Gateshead who still have to apply to PNGRFL for release of the players before they can play.
“We have referred the matter to the Rugby LIF before we determine any appropriate course of action and make any further comments on this,” Tassell said.
Meantime, Lo said he is excited to play in England and looking forward to a scholarship with the Newcastle University to study for a Diploma in Accounting while playing football. PNGLOOP