By HENRY MORABANG
WITH a little over seven weeks to go before the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup, two venues in Port Moresby seem unlikely to be ready for the Nov 13-Dec 3 event.
The mini stadium at the Bisini sports precinct and the one at the Sir John Guise Stadium complex make up two of the four venues earmarked for use during the tournament, which will see 16 national sides compete.
The two main venues to host matches are the main Sir John Guise Stadium and the National Football Stadium.
A visit by The National to the respective venues yesterday found that seating for the Bisini and Sir John Guise mini stadium had yet to be installed.
Despite an assurance last month by Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko that the Government, in partnership with the organisers, including Fifa, would deliver the stadiums on time for the event, the state of completion at both venues shows that a lot of work still needs to be done.
Tkatchenko and PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili Jr admitted that there were challenges that were being met in the build-up to the Word Cup but both men have continued to state positively that the event would be run on schedule, with the infrastructure, including training venues, ready for teams.
PNG Football Association and Oceania Football Confederation president David Chung remained tightlipped about the venues, referring The National to Tkatchenko.
However, Chung intimated recently that two stadiums were set for the World Cup but the general perception was that progress was slow in having the other two ready for competition.
Tkatchenko and NSL chairman Isaac Lupari indicated that the Hubert Murray Stadium and the Sir John Guise Stadium would be the country’s main soccer venues.
But the SHM stadium construction has come to a complete halt since July last year and the SJGS has been used by a number of sports, including soccer, rugby league and rugby union.
By HENRY MORABANG