By LARRY ANDREW
THE Lae Football Association kicked off its new season on Sunday after it was resolved that the outstanding 2021 matches would not be held, according to fixtures chairman Alex Toki.
He told The National that the 2021 season came to a halt due to Coronavirus pandemic that affected most sports.
“The A-League had seven matches to complete and B-League six games for the 2021 season,” Toki said.
“But with the outcome of a March meeting, it was passed that games affected by the pandemic would not proceed anymore and everything must start afresh in the New Year.
“So with those amendments, there was no presentation for the 2021 season.
“But clubs have been assured that the executive committee has decided that whatever fees the clubs had paid for the 2021 season are carried forward to 2022.
“The only thing the clubs will do is just top up a fee of K300 to cover the association’s normal registration fee of K1,000.” Toki said 18 clubs attended the association’s most recent meeting last Wednesday, so the competition would host 10 A-League and eight B-League teams.
He said they would complete the season by August which was in accordance with the competition calendar of the sport’s national governing body.
“The games played on Sunday are in accordance with the clubs that attended the meeting,” Toki said.
“For the clubs that didn’t participate, they need to come on Tuesday (today) for a technical meeting to indicate that they will be fielding teams.
“I will not make the draw without the roll-call of a team.
“For the women’s division, we have placed it on hold until the completion of the Women’s National Soccer League season.
“We will apply the same procedure to know how many teams will be participating this season.
“Hopefully, by this weekend, all divisions will be in full swing.”
He said the association, under president Roy Kamen, would omit the first division this year to involve more youths with Under-17 and U20 sides slotted into the draw.
“This is done in accordance with the Papua New Guinea Football Association calendar where there will be an U20 tournament staged for boys and girls from May 23.”
By LARRY ANDREW