CMSS Tigers, who have been playing a guessing game with the National Soccer League board, have finally withdrawn from the semi-professional football competition, the Telikom National Soccer League (NSL).
PNG Football Association (PNGFA) vice-president and the chairman of the premier soccer event in the country, John Kapi Natto, this week confirmed that the Korean-backed franchise had officially pulled out of the competition.
“It was unfortunate that Jimmy Kim had to withdraw his team and concentrate on his other business interests including the Moresby Casino Hotel now under construction,” he said.
It is understood that Kim was disappointed with the results of his team not winning the NSL Telikom Cup or the minor premiership last season.
It was also noted from other source that Kim wanted to concentrate on the development of the multi-million kina five-star hotel, the Moresby Casino Hotel, at 4-Mile in Boroko.
Attempts to contact Kim were unsuccessful.
The National left several messages for Kim to respond but to no avail.
However, CMSS Tigers manager Farry Agina confirmed that they would no longer take part in the country’s premier soccer competition as the franchise owner had decided not to renew the sponsorship for the team but did not give a reason.
However, Agina said CMSS would still be supporting a team at the NCD public servants soccer competition at PNG Institute of Public Administration (PNGIPA) ovals.
Kapi Natto said there was an abundance of talent as only two franchises from Port Moresby had committed for this season’s NSL which were reigning champions, Hekari United and Eastern Star FC.
Hekari have retained or recruited a good number of international players from Solomon Islands and Fiji while the balance of the team is taken from local talent.
In Lae, there are three franchises which include last year’s grandfinalists Gigira Laitepo Morobe FC, Tukoko University and the development team, PNG Besta United, who are predominantly PNG’s under 20s.
Madang still has a team despite the poor performance of Madang Fox last year finishing second last while new arrivals the Mendi-based Petro Souths are poised to begin their journey at the top level of PNG football.
Other notable omissions from this year’s NSL competition are Gelle Hills and Esiloan University.
It is understood that both teams did not forward expressions of interest on time and were removed from the competition.