The National- Thursday, February 3, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
THE Women’s National Soccer League (WNSL) will be officially launched in Lae and Port Moresby this weekend.
In a low-key announcement at PNGFA Office at Sir John Guise Indoor Complex, WNSL coordinator Simon Koima confirmed that eight teams would be participating in the six-week competition.
The teams confirmed for Port Moresby are Inter University FC, Hekari FC, Bizprints Angels (otherwise known as Murik United) and PNGIPA FC while Lae’s sides are Bara, PNG Power, Central Lae and Wau Soccer Association.
Koima clarified that there would not be a “fly-in fly-out” competition.
Both Port Moresby and Lae would have separate competitions, and the top side from each competitions would play in a grand final.
The WNSL final would be the curtain raiser for men’s final.
Koima thanked those franchises for putting up teams in the inaugural women’s national soccer league season
The coordinator said female officials would control the matches, and he called on all former players to take part as coach, managers and as referees, assistant referees and fourth officials.
He said women’s football needed to build on this initiative, and encouraged more women to follow recently ticketed FIFA referee Yanting Yagum.
Former PNG representative and Inter University manageress Jennifer Popat commended PNGFA and the NSL board for initiating the national league for women.
She said the purpose of her franchise putting up the team was to provide avenues for untapped talent to push for selection in representative teams.
“University have been one of the main contributing club to representative teams in the past and will continue to do so with the introduction of women soccer league,” she said.
Hekari’s Vonnie Kapi Natto said she fully endorsed Popat’s comment on a national women’s competition.
“I’m excited about it because I’ve asked John (NSL chairman) why there isn’t a women’s competition, and now its happening so now women can show their true colours on the field,” she said.
It is a positive step for soccer because PNG is number one in the Pacific region.
To maintain and build on PNG’s ranking in the region it is hoped the women’s national side selected from the WNSL is able to play friendlies against other countries in the Oceania region, including New Zealand.