Comp not ready for expansion


Clubs looking to enter the Kumul Petroleum National Soccer League (NSL) are unlikely to be entertained next season because the competition is already big enough as it is, says an official.
NSL manager Leslie Babaga said last week that although all provinces were passionate about soccer, any inclusion would not be entertained for now.
“Running a competition involving 27 clubs in all the four regions is really hard,” he said.
“So we would like to remain with that number although clubs might bid for inclusion. This season was to see how we would go.
“Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) president John Kapi Natto wanted to test the water.
“Next season, we expect things to be bigger and better.
“We were looking to see an increase in clubs but eight teams in the Southern Conference, eight in Northern, six in Highlands and five in the New Guinea Islands is enough for now. For next season, we would like to keep the same number of clubs and start early.”
Babaga said they would re-introduce the women’s competition next season.
He said PNGFA had yet to confirm the number of women taking part in the Southern Conference but for Northern, four teams had registered their interest.
“They are Bara, PNG Power, Lae Sisters and Toti Women,” Babaga said.
“People might think we’re rushing into things but we have the Oceania Football Confederation Champions League early next year.
“We are following the Fifa calendar. Our call is for the clubs to send their interests in July because we will start the season in October.”
Chairman Benny Popoitai warned the clubs to pay their affiliation fees in full or face de-registration.