Sponsors upset over soccer violence in Lae

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday 06th January 2012

MAJOR sponsors Panamex Pacific are disappointed with the disturbance and violence that disrupted the Super 8 competition in Lae last Saturday.
They are also calling for more control on the trading of alcohol at the Lae Football Association clubhouse.
Panamex Pacific representative Ronald Ram said it was an “unnecessary raid” by security guards from the club house invading the field armed with knives.
It was alleged that the guards chased the spectators including mothers and children onto the field.
Ram, who was participating in one of the matches, said most of the matches were cancelled because of the incident.
In a letter to the LFA executive management, Ram said he was seriously re-considering the company’s involvement this season.
He said the company would not hesitate to pull out as major sponsors if such attitude persist.
“Our involvement is not only a marketing opportunity. What we value most is our community relations, our gesture of appreciation to the community and we chose LFA as the venue to execute this.
“We also value the image of the company and do not want to associate with activities that will tarnish our company’s name,” Ram said.
The clubhouse within the perimeters of the park was a major revenue earner for the association.
He said while the sponsors did not want to dictate decisions on management and assets, but they would defend their image and community relations.
“We want to associate with soccer and the soccer family and not drunks and uncontrolled security personnel who do not care about the game, the soccer community and those who associate with it,” Ram said.
The association general secretary Alex Toki said yesterday the clubhouse management was put on notice on Monday resulting in a new approach.
“The security of players and supporters has been taken care of. They have acted on the notice served on them,” Toki said.
Toki said the club house would now open to customers at the end of matches in the afternoons.
There will be games held this weekend. However, there will be no matches next weekend because the Telikom National Soccer League starts on Saturday.
The competition will resume on Jan 21.