Govt for all sports


THE NATIONAL Government is here to support all sports, according to outspoken Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.
Tkatchenko made reference to the three big sports of rugby league, soccer (football) and rugby union, who have had a lot more internal infighting or politicking than other minor sports.
“The Government is here to assist and not to interfere or take sides in the administration and management of any sports,” Tkactchenko said.
He said sports in the country should not be facing turmoil if processes in elections or administration and management were done properly.
“The Government had to intervene to save rugby league as it went through those dark years of mismanagement and in-fighting, and now they are back on track,” Tkatchenko said.
“I want to see all sports do the same and that is why Government is trying to assist rugby union and football get back on their feet.”
The minister said PNGFA had a bright future if its management was in order.
When asked to comment on the recent re-election of David Chung as PNGFA president, Tkatchenko said after consultation and from evidence provided to him, he considered the elections highly questionable.
“It clearly shows that some individuals are fighting for the right to be president of PNGFA, and that is not good enough,” he said. “Football is about everyone, and not for individuals.”
Tkatchenko said most member associations did not participate in the PNGFA Congress and election.
He said he had made it clear leading up to the PNGFA Congress that if member associations had not complied with PNGFA regulations or statutes, then it was the duty of the PNGFA secretariat to assist them to comply and participate in the election.
“Instead of suspending the associations, PNGFA must set out guidelines in advance and make requirements  clear.”
Thatchenko confirmed that some associations did not comply.
He said just suspending everybody leading into the PNGFA Congress had raises many questions and created a mess despite PNG’s successful hosting of the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
“We had a successful Fifa tournament in PNG. What a fabulous competition, and we still received praise from all over the world three to four weeks after the event,” the minister said.
“We proved to everyone that we can host the Fifa U20 World Cup and now we are looking forward to do the same with the upcoming Rugby League World Cup in October and November,” he said.
The minister said at the end of the day, Chung’s re-election was going to be questioned by many going into future.
“I have no personal grudges against Chung. He has done a lot for football in the country and I praise him for bringing the World Cup to PNG.
“You do not have to spoil it by putting yourself in limelight and let the process be done properly so everyone must take part.” he said.
Tkatchenko said soccer would still have problems in future if Chung remained as president.
He said that he was not siding with anyone but was concerned about the good of the football in the country.
“The last thing country would want to see is Hekari United opting out of NSL or OFC Champions League and the players withdrawing from the PNG Kapuls team,” Tkatchenko said.

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