By BUSTIN ANZU
GIGIRA Laitepo Morobe FC management and players have hit back at criticisms made by one of Papua New Guinea soccer icons, John Peka.
The management and the players said if Peka was true Morobean who was concerned about soccer in the province, he should have approached them at training and spell out what was lacking in the management and the team.
“Media is not the appropriate venue,” they said.
The players had spoken out after training on Tuesday.
They said the statements by a prominent soccer player and administrator was unbecoming.
“If his reason of us not performing up to expectation was genuine, he should come and talk to us, the players. If there was something wrong with the management, he should approach them as a senior player and administrator,” they said.
“We have our training sessions in the middle of the city at the Lae Football Association Park, the very spot where the creams of Morobe soccer stars are selected to represent Morobe and the country.
“We do not train in a secluded area,” they said.
They were reiterating to statements made in The National made by Peka about the below par performance of the boys against Hekari United in the National Soccer League match at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium last Saturday.
Hekari United hammered the home side 3-0 in the encounter.
Peka claimed that the result was very poor on home turf and they were not performing like a Morobe team where soccer was synonymous.
He added that both the coach Max Foster and team manager Stanley Khana should be replaced as they were not performing to expectations.
Khana said Peka should talk with them during their training at LFA and iron out on areas that needed improvement on and off the field.
He said they respected him as a senior soccer player and an administrator.
However, Peka had failed to consult them and rather opted to go to the media and express his frustration on the team’s performance.
Gigira Laitepo FC president Chris Kunyamban said to replace the coach and the team manager was the prerogative of the sponsors and that responsibility did not rest on him.
He said although the sponsors mandated him to run the club, the firing and hiring of club management was the call of the sponsors.
Kunyamban said he was impressed with the way Hekari played last Saturday because they had some for top players from the Pacific.
“Hekari have all the quality players, not only for the NSL competition but also for their O-League campaign.
“Their standard is very high and they need to cope with that type and level of play,” he said.