By HENRY MORABANG
MINERAL Resources Development Company yesterday committed K200,000 to Hekari United Football Club and won the naming rights for their participation at the FIFA Club World Cup challenge.
MRDC managing director Augustine Mano announced the sponsorship in the media conference in Port Moresby yesterday, stating that the sponsorship was to show the company’s appreciation to Hekari by promoting his firm in the past years.
He said the club had been flying MRDC’s flag under subsidiary company, Petroleum Resources Kutubu.
Mano said the money would go towards the club’s preparations for the event in Abu Dhabi scheduled for Dec 8-18.
Mano said franchise owner John Kapi Natto, who is the chairman of the PRK, had made sacrifices for the last three years in promoting MRDC and such a package was a token of appreciation from the MRDC board.
He said the clubwould be flying the PNG flag on foreign land and the company was hoping the club would beat the first team to advance into quarter-finals. adding it was a tough road to Abu Dhabi.
After two years in the O-League competition, Hekari had finally made it through as the first team from the Pacific Islands nations to take part in the event.
He said the sponsorship would go a long way to supporting the team’s preparations.
“Our team not only comprises PNG players but the cream of Fiji and Solomon Islands who have been supporting us to achieve our aim as the number one club in the Oceania region,” he said.
Kapi Natto also acknowledged the contributions from the National Gaming Control Board with K100,000, BSP K100,000, the PNG Football Association and the Hekari Group of Companies.
Team manageress Vonnie Kapi Natto and coach Tommy Mana, who witnessed the presentation, said Hekari would be sending a 35-man contingent, including 23 players and 12 officials.
She said the main aim of the club was to win the first match.
She said she was confident that Hekari would put on a superb performance during the tournament.