Hekari ousted

Sports

THE Oceania Football Confederation Emergency Committee has disqualified Papua New Guinea leading club Hekari United from participating in the OFC Champions League 2017.
The decision comes after the PNG Football Association filed a formal complaint following numerous derogatory public statements regarding PNGFA, its officials and elected office bearers, made by Hekari United chairman John Kapi Natto.
Kapi Natto has also made public statements and organised public meetings related to the formation of a new football association, in opposition to PNGFA, and a rival national league competition.
In addition a number of Hekari players have refused to turn up for national team duty.
In a statement released yesterday from the office of the general-secretary Tai Nicholas, the OFC said players and officials of clubs participating in the OFC Champions League had a duty (in accordance with competition regulations) not to engage in behaviour that damages the integrity of football and Hekari United had contravened this duty.
The club’s conduct was referred to the OFC ethics committee and its disciplinary committee for investigation. The released said no further statement from the OFC would be made in regards to the matter during the judicial process. Kapi Natto said he knew his club would be suspended from taking part in the Champions League as well as facing other sanctions.
Kapi Natto said he knew after his association (Hekari Soccer Association) along with 11 others, was suspended by the PNGFA last year that other sanctions would be imposed.
Kapi Natto said he was paying the price for speaking out against corruption in the sport. He claimed the PNGFA heirarchy, headed by David Chung, had violated the democratic process during the association’s congress in Kimbe last December, and he felt compelled to act.
Part of that reaction was to pull his club out of the National Soccer League and to start the formation of a separate soccer body in PNG.
Kapi Natto said his club’s suspension from the Champions League was another ploy by Chung to keep Hekari on the outside. Hekari’s letter of suspension was also copied to the 11 other associations that had backed Kapi Natto in his bid for the presidency last year.
Kapi Natto challenged Chung and Nicholas to meet the 12 suspended associations and explain to them their actions as well as lift the ban on Hekari.
He also called on Chung to reconvene the PNGFA congress to have fresh elections this time with the participation of all asociations.

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