By BENJAMIN KOITAKA
PAPUA New Guinea Football Association president John Kapi Natto say the country brings a wealth of experience and innovation to partner with soccer in Oceania.
While confirming his appointment as Oceania Football Confederation vice-president, Kapi Natto said he was adamant to lift the profile of soccer in the country and the region to create pathways for players at the international level.
“This job is always for four years and being appointed vice-president is a gesture of respect and honour for our country,” he said.
“For other island nations, PNG brings a wealth of experience and great innovation in business as a partner in football at the highest level in the region.”
He said his aim was to explore any benefits which past executives may have failed to bring to the country and Oceania.
“I am in the position of finding out if there were any benefits when the former PNGFA president (David Chung) held both positions — vice-president and president,” Kapi Natto said.
“It will soon be made known but I am sure there are benefits to members associations in the region.”
He said he wanted soccer to be a tier-one league, exposing local players to the outside market.
“I want to see a tier-one league established in PNG, possibly with six clubs in strategic locations,” Kapi Natto said.
“Without a tier-one league, our players can’t be exposed to other professional leagues around the world.
“I am liaising with other member associations and clubs in the region to partner with us.
“We are already in discussions with the Singapore Football Association for a friendly in June.
“We also have plans to discuss with Football Federation Australia through our sports vice-minister, to initiate a friendly match once a year against a Hyundai A-league club and the Socceroos.”
When asked about the Fifa sanctions imposed on Chung, Kapi Natto said: “Every leaders has his or her own verdict of what he or she has done.
“For me, I want PNGFA’s future aspiring leaders, including myself, to learn from what had happened and never to repeat it because it has caused a lot of headaches so far in cleaning the mess and putting PNGFA back on track.”
By BENJAMIN KOITAKA