United pull out, NSL finals cancelled

Sports

THE National Soccer League board has scrapped its 2017 finals in order to focus on planning for the 2017-2018 season.
The board made the announcement in a press statement yesterday.
Prior to the announcement PS Huawei United, who were supposed to play Madang FC in a mid-week semifinal, elected to pull out of the finals citing the poor management of the competition as the reason.
The NSL board noted that the on-going postponement of the finals had inconvenienced many stakeholders including football fans and sponsors and apologised.
Factors such as the wet season in Lae (which was to host the semifinals and final) and national election issues contributed to the delays. The release also stated that not all franchisees had paid their fees in full undermining the viability of staging the finals.
“On the positive side the NSL season 2016/2017 was most successful in completing its regular season and determining the minor premiers and first runners-up, with conditions, for the Oceania Champions League next year.
“The NSL board and PNGFA wishes to thank all the football fans, clubs, players and sponsors for their support and requests all to remain faithful with their NSL clubs to be better prepared for the next NSL season,” the release said.
The PS United decision to withdraw was made last week.
The club’s representative on the NSL board Paul Komboi said he had disbanded the club and sent all his players back to their respective provinces.
Komboi also called on the  PNGFA and the NSL board to remove long-serving competition manager Simon Koima.
The former PNG striker said his club could not continue when  other teams had not completed their payments.
He admitted that PS United made a part payment of K47,000 while other clubs had not paid their dues.
He understood that Madang only paid K30,000 of their K50,000 levy while Lae City paid their dues after they were declared minor premiers.
Komboi said PS United did not want to be dragged into a mismanaged competition and pulled out of the semifinal against Madang.
“To be frank, NSL has no major sponsor to run its operational costs and was basically operating on the franchise registration and affiliation fees since the start of the competition,” he said.
He said PS Huawei PS was the only club that has met part of the affiliation requirements while other clubs were free riders to have the competition up and running to make PNG Football Association executives and the NSL board look good.
So far, PS Huawei, Madang and Lae City Dwellers have made part-payments while Besta FC, Buang FC and Yamaros FC had yet to submit their full affiliation fees.
A disappointed Komboi said it was unfortunate he had to come out because the NSL board had not taken steps to rectify the matter.

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