THE deferral of the PNGFA Congress by its executive has not gone down well with several member associations, with their presidents expressing their disappointment at the timing as well as the significance of the decision.
Leading the chorus was Lae’s Lahi association president Geob Gariki, who described the deferral as a ploy to divert attention from the PNGFA’s own failings.
Gariki was scathing in his appraisal of the action announced by PNGFA secretary-general Dmirit Mileng, accusing the body under the leadership of David Chung of not doing enough to support and bolster the local associations in terms of understanding their roles and responsibilities.
Gariki said Chung and Mileng had largely ignored them over the the years between elective congresses and they felt marginalised and were made to follow the parent body’s directives without any tangible results. He said the deferral of the congress by six months (Feb, 2017) was unacceptable.
“If the PNGFA took the time to actually do its mandated role and carry out its responsibilities, then we wouldn’t be in this mess,” Gariki said.
“They’ve basically been running football on an ad hoc basis.”
Gariki said the majority of the member associations around the country were non-compliant, as claimed by Mileng, because they had not been made aware of the PNGFA statutes on a regular basis.
He said the associations had only come to find out they were non-compliant a month before the congress which was supposed to be on August 7 in Kimbe, West New Britain.
“It is too late to postpone the congress, we must go ahead as planned and then we can fix these problems (compliance) once and for all.
“I hope this decision to postpone congress is not because Chung doesn’t have enough support for re-election.”
Vocal Hekari Soccer Association president John Kapi Natto added his view about the position of the PNGFA president and executive, stating that it was the member associations who owned the PNGFA and not Chung or Mileng.
He said if there were problems, the association presidents and the PNGFA executive needed to work together to solve them and the presidents’ right could not be denied by a deferral on the grounds on non-compliance for which the PNGFA itself was largely culpable.
He said the PNGFA administration could not unilaterally decide to defer the Congress from being convened at the appointed time.
Kapi Natto said the buck stopped with the leadership and administration of the PNGFA which had contributed to the current situation.
Kapi Natto added that PNGFA’s ability to keep in touch with associations and supply them with relevant information on the association’s programmes was also in question.
He said one glaring deficiency was a lack of a cohesive and clearly mapped out yearly plan for the national body and its member affiliates.
“The PNGFA couldn’t event put out a yearly calendar on their activities and this has been a problem for years.”
“The office of the general-secretary which is supposed to be neutral does not communicate well with all member associations over these on-going issues that is why a lot of member associations where caught off guard on non-compliance issue.”
Kapi Natto, who has been nominated by Lahi and previously LFA (Lae Football Association) to run for the presidency, said Chung and Mileng had been at the helm of PNG soccer for the last 12 years now and had let the issue of compliance get out of hand.
He said for the pair to make an 11th hour announcement deferring the elective congress was indicative of their lack of control and as good as an admittance of their failure to run the PNGFA properly.