WE have been enjoying the many blessings in football (soccer) this year, 2016 – first with the OFC Nations Cup hosted in Port Moresby and now the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The performance of PNG Kapuls men’s team in holding the world-class New Zealand All Whites team to a 0-0 score line for more than 110 minutes of football is historic and raises the bar for all national representative teams.
All of us, football (soccer) fans in PNG, are anticipating good times ahead for our representative teams in years to come.
However, the thing that is turning all these good things on their heads is the constant bullying tactics of PNG Football Association (PNGFA) in shutting out John Kapi Natto, his wife Vonnie and their club Hekari Football FC, from taking an active role in PNGFA.
It has come to our notice that ever since Kapi Natto has declared his wish to run for the PNGFA President’s seat, which is currently held by David Chung, there has been this move to prevent Kapi Natto from doing so. How long is this bullying going to go on for?
Some of us already hold onto the view that Chung and possibly a few PNGFA officials want to continue heading PNGFA and not allowing other PNG citizens to replace them.
But that is not right.
That position does not belong to Chung or any PNGFA official – it belongs to Papua New Guinea and all its fans and participating football associations/affiliates, and must continue to be so.
I ask that Chung and PNGFA officer bearers to stop those childish tactics.
PNG football is about to rise to another level, however, such selfish motives will ruin or prevent chances of the code from being further developed.
We saw the same thing happening in PNG Rugby League in the last few years and it seems that kind of bad politics is now creeping into football (soccer) also.
Most of PNG know what Kapi Natto has done for men’s football in the country, in terms of developing players by taking PNG home-grown footballers to work alongside champion footballers in the region as those who played in Hekari, as well as participating in international tournaments.
People are not blind.
For the record, in 2010, Kapi Natto’s Hekari FC beat other teams in Oceania (including NZ teams) and qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup 2010 which was hosted in Abu Dhabi.
Wikipedia states that “the qualification of Hekari United is historic and represents the first time Papua New Guinea and for that matter any South Pacific Island club not from Australia and New Zealand has been involved in a FIFA club football tournament at any level”.
Most of the players in the current PNG Kapul’s men’s team who played in the final against the NZ All Whites in the OFC Nations Cup grand final in June were former or current Hekari FC players.
It is for those reasons that we know that should Kapi Natto be allowed to contest the PNGFA president’s post and win it, PNG football’s standard will continue to be raised.
Kapi Natto is an achiever, he is a man who has high standards and with his management team, they
can pass on such admirable qualities to teams and players they work
Kapi Natto is not one who is concerned about carrying a name tag that does not improve the standing of the game in the region.
PNG football is about to rise and let us not allow bad politics prevent that from happening.
For this, I ask that Chung and other PNGFA officials who may be playing a self-serving game to stop such actions.
Such things will only damage whatever progress has been happening in Papua New Guinea.
Remember, those positions in PNGFA are not yours – they belong to the people of PNG and all the associations/affiliates and fans of football.
Let’s do everything for the good of football.
Pro PNG Soccer