By HENRY MORABANG
THE Government has assured the national football governing body, PNG Football Association, of further financial assistance for women’s football and its other endeavours.
Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko gave the assurance while thanking the PNG Under-20 women’s soccer team for their effort — and especially scoring a goal at the World Cup against North Korea.
Despite PNG going down 7-1, Tkatchenko told the U20 women that the first World Cup goal had made history for the country in football.
He said there were a lot of criticism from people who did not know football and how the game was played
“A lot of people did not realise the odds, especially the opposition, in the group matches,” Tkatchenko said.
“Once they realised that you were not playing with teams at the backyard in Wewak or Port Moresby, they started to turn up in numbers to give us the support,” he said.
Tkatchenko said PNG’s one goal was the start of a new legacy for women’s football in the country.
“For you to play the best and score against North Korea is an unbelievable achievement,” he said
PNG Football Association president David Chung, who hosted the farewell dinner for the U20 women, encouraged them to continue in football.
“You have done yourself, the country and your parents proud with your performance against North Korea,” Chung said. He told the women that they were still young and should continue playing in order to maintain their form for future representative duties.
He thanked them for their commitment, understanding and sacrfice for the country.
Team manager Cathy Agunam thanked Tkatchenko and Chung for their support during the team’s 12-month camp in Goroka.
She said the road did not end with the World Cup and they would continue the legacy and hopefully become champions in Oceania.
By HENRY MORABANG