The National – Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By HENRY MORABANG
PAPUA New Guinea Football Association has embrace Hekari United’s participation at the FIFA Club World Cup championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as PNG football’s proudest moment.
PNGFA president David Chung said this when asked about the past season of football.
In its short five-year history, the semi-professional National Soccer League (NSL) has grown from four teams to the current eight-team competition with standards improving each year.
“It’s the biggest achievement for PNG football ever achieved both nationally and in the region,” Chung said.
“Despite the team not advancing past the first round, Hekari did PNG proud on the world football stage.”
Chung, who was recently elevated in the Oceania Football Confederation as acting president, said 2010 had been successful for PNGFA as it managed to fulfil the second cycle of its four-year vision.
“PNGFA managed to conduct many coaching and referee courses at the PNGFA Football Academy and also other parts of the country.”
Chung said youth football programmes would continue to take centre stage and with the Pacific Games around the corner, PNGFA would fight to get on top in the region.
That was the sole reason for fielding a development team in the NSL – the Besta PNG United.
The PNGFA also encouraged member associations to conduct U15 to U20 competitions which are slowing taking place – something the soccer executives must take keen interest in to promote junior development.
He said the results of the competition would see the first U17 team participating in OFC tournament in New Zealand next month.
Chung said next year, more support would be given to member associations to assist them in strengthening their local competitions as special funding is created to assist them.
The PNGFA president said with good structuring and “popularising” of football, this had attracted additional sponsors on board to support the semi-professional football competition.
PNGFA, backed by Mineral Resources Development Company, Telikom, Air Niugini, Coca-Cola and the International Food Corporation (IFC), successfully carried out its programmes.
The PNGFA will embark on upskilling more technical officials held throughout the country through technical centres set up in Kimbe and Port Moresby.
He said these two centres would cater for the training of all the country’s technical officials.