Red tape stifles football stadium development

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday 07th Febuary 2012

THE PNG Football Association has repeated its call on the government to make available land for its football stadium in Port Moresby.
PNGFA president David Chung made this call after his meeting with PNG Sports Foundation representative John Paliau failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion on a portion of the land at the Sir John Guise stadium which was previously designated for the development of a football stadium.
Chung said negotiations for the use the land to build a multi-purpose stadium started three years ago with the PNG Sports Foundation Board but nothing had come of the meetings.
In the last meeting with the former chairman of PNG Sports Foundation Graham Osborne, Chung was given assurances that the land would be made available as per the board deliberation and endorsement.
However, when Chung did a follow-up meeting last week, he was told by Paliau that there had been no such deliberations at the board level and what Osborne said did not have the backing of the board.
Chung then questioned what was the role of PNG Sports Foundation in supporting national federation who had financial resources to build their own facilities.
He said he was disappointed with the “merry-go-around” attitude displayed by the PNGSF hierarchy.
Chung, who is also the president of the Oceania Football Confederation, and the vice-president of FIFA, could not believe what had transpired over the years in delaying issue of lease agreement to the football federation.
He said FIFA had allocated US$500,000 (K1 million) but it had been lying idle in a bank account for almost two years, and he feared that the world soccer governing body would rechannel the funds to other countries.
Things are more difficult for the PNGFA to pursue the matter as there is no PNG Sports Foundation board in place.
Chung also questioned the manner in which PNGSF had leased out its properties without a proper board in place which contradicted what they had told the PNGFA.
The PNGSF is now waiting for a new board to be appointed before addressing all lease matters.
The PNGFA want to develop the stadium so it can be ready by the 2015 Pacific Games for its football competition.
But with the current bureaucratic red-tape at Waigani and the Sir John Guise stadium stifling their plans, football would now look for alternate venues.
Chung said former Lands Minister Sir Puka Temu took an undertaking to assist the PNGFA  acquire land which was supposed to be at the Sir John Guise stadium to build their football stadium.