The battle for PNG soccer’s leadership heating up

The National,Friday June 24th, 2016

SOCCER or football as it’s now being referred to in Papua New Guinea these days is going through a good period at present.
Granted the women’s senior soccer side has produced the goods consistently over the years, the men have finally got in on the act and are themselves deserving of praise.
The National Soccer League seems to be as strong as ever and two clubs have emerged as the truly elite domestic sides in Hekari United and Lae City.
Things could not be better with a FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in November and the OFC having been successfully hosted in Port Moresby where the Kapuls lost a final to New Zealand All Whites via penalty shoot-out.
If there ever was a time to be optimistic about soocer in PNG now is that time.
But all is not well in with soccer off the field – from a leadership standpoint there are people in the soccer fraternity calling for change to the PNGFA’s leadership.
It started a month ago with NSL chairman Isaac Lupari calling for a change in leadership – in essence Lupari, who is the state’s chief secretary, was indirectly calling for the removal of incumbent president David Chung.
Then  Hekari United boss John Kapi Natto announced his candidacy for the PNGFA presidential post which will be contested on August 7 at the association’s congress in Kimbe, West New Britain.
Kapi Natto bid for the job four years ago and came up short.
Chung may have staved off that threat to his position but he is facing his sternest challenge yet.
The wily incumbent has fired back with the suspension of the president and vice of the Lae Football Association, a group that is in Kapi Natto’s corner.
The next month will see move and counter move as the election draws near.
One can only hope that all parties have the interest of the game at heart.