NSL gets support

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THE National Soccer League’s major sponsor Telikom PNG yesterday challenged other companies to back soccer in the country. 
Telikom PNG chief executive officer Peter Loko made the remarks when announcing at a media conference in Port Moresby that the locally owned telecommunication company would back the semi-professional soccer competition for another season.
Since sponsoring the NSL, Telikom PNG has injected close to half a million kina over the last three years and the new season.
Loko is pleased to see other corporate partners such as Air Niugini, Coca-Cola, National Gaming Control Board (NGCB), KooGa and, more recently,  InterOil, who have come on board to develop football.
“Soccer clubs like Hekari United cannot develop or achieve their dreams without the support of companies,” the Telikom PNG boss said.
He told the new sponsors that if Telikom could do it, they could as well.
“The ball is now in your court.”
 He is satisfied that Telikom’s involvement had raised the standard of soccer.
He noted Hekari’s  qualification to represent Oceania at the World Cup championships in Abu Dhabi was a testimony to corporate backing.
Hekari will carry the hopes and dreams of PNG’s six million people and the rest of the Oceania region in particularly, Solomon Islands and Fiji, who played a vital role in helping Hekari through the FIFA tournament.
NSL board chairman John Kapi Natto thanked Telikom for their continued partnership with semi-professional football in the country.
He said despite the business climate being challenging in the early stages of the NSL, Telikom PNG had held the fort to ensure the competition’s viability.
“We have gone from strength to strength – and a big thank you must go to Telikom PNG for making a brave decision to support soccer in the country,” Kapi Natto said.
Despite PNG being ranked outside the top 200, Hekari’s qualification was an eye-opener for the football fraternity around the globe.
Kapi Natto confirmed that seven teams including Hekari United, Eastern Star (POM), NBS Tukoko University, Gigira Laitepo, Besta United (Lae), Madang Fox (Madang) and Petro Souths (Mendi) had signed up and would compete for the Telikom NSL Cup.