NSL season to start next month


The 2018 National Soccer League season is set to kick-off on Jan 6.
The date for the semi-professional football league was set at a meeting by NSL managers last Saturday in Port Moresby.
NSL had held back on starting the competition due to the Christmas festive season which would affect the flow of the competition.
The meeting was opened by PNG Football Association vice-president John Wesley Gonjuan, who chaired the meeting, welcoming all franchise clubs and representatives followed by opening remarks from PNGFA president David Chung.
Chung said he wanted to see improvements in NSL organisation and that franchise clubs must work in partnership with NSL, stakeholders and part owners for the sustainability of the clubs.
“Franchise clubs must work together with all stakeholders to improve quality on and off the pitch,” Chung said.
Twelve teams from as far as Manus and Milne Bay have shown interest to participate in the 2018 NSL season.
Defending champions, Lae City Dwellers, Madang and Besta are the three-seasoned campaigners.
There is interest from Eastern Stars, who want to make a re-entry into the competition, while FC Morobe Wawens is banking on their provincial government to foot the bill this season.
Other teams include Manus and Northern, along with Erema Gulf, Unitech, Central, Southern Strikers and a Chimbu franchise.
The NSL competition will play a pool system if there are eight teams and a round robin for a six-team competition.
Other placings would be based on the goals for and against points system.
The NSL management said each franchise club should host home games during the round robin while in the pool system no two teams from the same zone should be in the same pool.
The league winner and runner-up qualify for the OFC Champions League with PNGFA to meet fees for both teams.
Each club must be incorporated as a company and be registered with the Investment Promotion Authority to avoid conflict of ownership.
Clubs must also have their home ground or demonstrate their ability to have their own ground to host matches and generate revenue.
NSL is responsible for match venues and match day expenses for the championship, match officials’ travel and allowances; domestic airfares and Land transport for 18 persons per franchise and the awards.
Franchise club will be responsible for match venues and match day expenses, security, accommodation and meals, players’ expenses and land transport.