PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has appointed Minister Assisting the Prime Minister Philemon Embel, as the new Minister for Sports.
The sports portfolio comes under the leadership of Minister for Community Development, Social and Welfare, Dame Carol Kidu, but it is understood Embel would take over various responsibilities.
In an interview with Mr Embel with this paper yesterday, he revealed that he was appointed by Sir Michael last Friday.
He will meet with all the sporting bodies in the country to start planning and looking at the activities of each code to effectively carry out their operations.
The reviewing off all sporting bodies in the country would be a priority area the new minister would look at and to review various sporting code’s operations, management and structures.
One such outstanding issue is the appointment of a professional boxing control board.
According to Embel it was the intention of Somare-Temu Government to use sports as an avenue to foster social and economic development in PNG.
It is in this faith that all sporting bodies need to be put in order to ensure goals and directives of National Government were achieved.
The biggest task ahead for the new minister is the hosting of the 2015 Pacific Games, which he said he was looking forward to working closely with the committee established to start the preparations.
Another major focus would be the PNGNRL Bid committee’s drive to acquire a license to enter the Australian National Rugby League competition.
Minister for Community Development responsible for Sports Dame Carol Kidu was surprised with the announcement of Mr Embel as the new Sports Minister.
She told The National yesterday afternoon that she was not aware of the appointment but was relieved that someone else takes over the sports division.
Dame Carol though surprise welcomed the newssaying that it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister to make changes and also appoint new ministers.
It is understood that Mr Embel will be looking at recruiting indiviuals well-versed in sports administration to assist him with the PNGNRL Bid and the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.