The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012
By HENRY MORABANG
PAPUA New Guinea Football Association president David Chung has been awarded the Order of British Empire for services to business and the development and administration of soccer in the country.
Chung was among 13 OBE recipients announced by Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Chung said he was humbled and felt honoured and proud to receive the award.
“The OBE is a winner for football, for Papua New Guinea and the world, especially whenever I chair or attend meetings around the world, and name lists and cards written representing OFC and Papua New Guinea,” he said.
Chung, who is president of the Oceania Football Confederation, said he had not expected the award despite several prominent people hinting about it.
He said the award had motivated him to work harder and he thanked those who nominated him.
Born Chung Kim Hiong in Malaysia he arrived in the country in 1985 and is a naturalised citizen.
Although initially involved in rugby league, he became a soccer player, coach and referee and then a senior official with soccer in the highlands region.
While administering football in the highlands region, he “helped secure outside funding as well as contribute personal finance towards the development of the game which won him presidency of the highlands region”.
Chung was first elected national soccer president in August 2004 in Kimbe, taking over from Madiu Andrew as Papua New Guinea’s representative on the OFC executive committee.
The regional executive body then elected him as senior vice-president in 2007 under OFC president Reynald Temarii of Tahiti.
In January last year, he was elected unopposed as president of Oceania for a four-year term.
The OFC credits him with launching Papua New Guinea’s “first ever semi-professional football competition in 2006”, the Papua New Guinea National Soccer League, as well as boosting grassroots football, supporting women’s football and overseeing “a series of infrastructure projects including a national football academy in Lae and regional technical centre in Kimbe, with plans in place to build an additional regional technical centre in Port Moresby beginning 2011”.
Beginning with five franchises, the National Soccer League aimed to lift the standard of football in the country and, in turn, produce a better level of performance at OFC tournaments.
It has done just that, growing to eight teams and seeing the remarkable rise of Hekari United, which defied all odds to become the first Oceania club from outside New Zealand or Australia to win the OFC Champions League and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2010.