Besta FA Cup set for kick off

Sports

KIMBE women and Southern regions two men’s teams are tipped to do well at the Besta FA Cup which kicks off today in Lae.
PNGFA competitions manager Simon Koima said New Guinea Islands soccer queens Kimbe led by former U20 representative and current senior player Ramona Padio would be one of the sides to watch out for at the national championships.
Koima said Southern regions surprise packets Hood Lagoon and Kamali in the men’s division were not to be discounted after beating their more fancied city rivals Port Moresby to make the Besta Cup regional finals.
“The teams to watch out for at the 2018 Besta FA Cup finals I think are Kimbe’s women’s team and one of the two Southern region men’s qualifiers because they’ve shown they can play fast, attacking soccer and they have great fitness,” Koima said.
Koima said that 12 teams (seven men and five women) from Mamose, Highlands, Southern and New Guinea Islands would participate. From Mamose, defending men’s champions Almami of Madang along with runners-up Morobe FA acrry the hopes of the region considered the PNG soccer’s biggest breeding ground for talent.
Carrying the torch for the Highlands region at this tournament is the Goroka association who will field a men’s and a women’s team.
Koima said that under the PNGFA acting president John Wesley Gonjuan’s discretion, the Tabale FA women’s team from the Chimbu association would take part as would New Guinea Islands men’s runners-up the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Koima explained that these were two special cases which the Gonjuan and allowed take part however they would have to meet their own costs to participate.
Koima said the decision to allow two more sides to take part was to promote the sport in those provinces.
“The Bougainville case is deeper since the crisis and sport is seen as the main uniting factor in community development for each district in on Bougainville,” Koima said.
The Besta Cup has a prize pool of K100,000 and will be staged at the PNG Soccer Academy over Independence weekend.
The men’s champion will get K50,000 courtesy of the event’s major sponsor the International Food Corporation (IFC).
Koima said that due to wet weather in Lae for almost three weeks, the games had been scheduled to start at 9am today.
“We’re starting early so we can get games out of the way in case we have heavy rains in the afternoons. Even if we have bad weather we can still play games at different times of the day and also having two fields will ensure we complete the draw,’ Koima said.

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