By ELIAS LARI
CHAIRMAN of the Mt Hagen District Sports Association Simon Kama and executives of sporting codes in Western Highlands are unhappy with the decision of the provincial sports council to withdraw from the 7th PNG Games.
In a press conference on Monday, they blamed the provincial sports council for failing to plan and raise funds instead of waiting only on the provincial government.
Kama said the sports council had a lot of time to plan for the games.
He said sporting codes have been preparing over a long time for the games and the decision to withdraw was a slap on the face.
“It shows that the executives of the provincial sports council just jumped out of slumber,” Kama said.
“You should have planned that earlier. You have three years and that was the time you should have raised funds or looked at other alternative ways.”
Kama said athletes in Western Highlands will also miss out on selections for the Pacific Mini Games and the Olympic Games.
“How can our gold medallists defend their titles?” he said.
“I blame the provincial executives for failing the athletes and the people of Western Highlands.
“This eleventh hour decision is not going down well with us, it shows that the executives have failed miserably to plan ahead.”
Kama said that it is not good to blame the economic crisis as there were ways to raise funds.
“We cannot say Papua New Guinea is bankrupt or does not have the money. You cannot wait on the provincial government you were given the three years to prepare,” Kama said.
He said their athletes needed to defend their title at the games.
Mt Hagen basketball team head coach Simon Dixie described the withdrawal of Team Western Highlands as a first for the province.
He said they had been preparing for the Games over the past three years the decision by the provincial sports council did not go down with them.
“Costs were involved and the last minute decision is causing us to lose hope,” Dixie said.
By ELIAS LARI