The National, Friday 18th of January, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
SOCCER powerhouse Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC have been confirmed for the last spot in the six-team Telikom National Soccer League for this year.
When endorsing Morobe’s late inclusion, the NSL board also slapped a K20,000 late acceptance fee which must be paid before close of business on Monday.
The teams confirmed for the Feb 2 season start are Hekari FC, Welgris FC, Besta United FC, PAG FC Port Moresby, WNB Tavur FC and Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC.
NSL chairman Isaac Lupari said yesterday that his board remained firm on its decision to accept six franchise clubs only for this year.
He said Gigira Laitepo Morobe and NC Civic Work Oro FC were late comers and paid their full affiliation fees of K80,000 after the closing date on the same day.
However, the board decided that Morobe, who also paid their K5,000 expression-of-interest fee within the prescribed time, should be given the opportunity to take up the sixth spot but with a penalty fee of K20,000.
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Lupari stressed that if the penalty fee was not paid on Monday, this opportunity would pass to NC Civic Works Oro FC who would be given a further 24 hours to comply.
He added that in the event that neither franchise clubs met this requirement the competition would proceed with the five confirmed teams.
“Whilst some will be disappointed, expressions of interest were originally called for in July last year and that future intending participants must get their acts together and not leave it to the last minute. Deadlines are put in place to ensure that these competitions can be properly organised and managed in a timely manner,” Lupari said.
The chairman said this was a warning to potential franchises and teams in the future that the NSL board will not review or revisit its decisions.
“Once the board makes the decisions, its decisions will be implemented. The board will not be dictated by influences of certain interest groups. If we want TNSL to be respected, we must learn to respect and abide decisions, we make.”
Lupari also said the board would soon announce details of the competition format, revised regulations, marketing and sponsorship programme and establishment of a separate office for administration of the NSL competition.