The National, Wednesday October 2nd, 2013
By HENRY MORABANG
NATIONAL Soccer League foundation member, Welgris FC, have withdrawn from the 2013-2014 season.
Welgris Fuel Distribution chairman John Kapi Natto said the board of directors decided to withdraw their support as it would be too costly under the new conditions set by the Telikom National Soccer League board.
“The board members pulled the plug, stating that K300,000 on air travel and accommodation alone is not viable as they get nothing in return for spending so much money supporting the club,” he said.
Kapi Natto said the board members said they had passionately supported the soccer club representing the highlands region for the past seven years and now they had called it quits to allow other stakeholders in the region the opportunity to franchise the team.
Kapi Natto, who runs the successful Hekari United franchise, said he was vocal about the changes made by the competition board but no-one has supported him.
“The changes and the conditions will not be helpful for franchise owners as they will now dig deep into their pockets – spending more money than before to sustain their football clubs,” he said. The former NSL chairman said he had not received any support from any franchise owners or team managers of clubs regarding the changes.
“Many teams are banking on provincial governments to support them but are they going to do it all the time,” he asked.
He said Hekari was successful because of good corporate backing from MRDC, Kutubu Security Services and other smaller companies.
Kapi Natto said he had emailed Papua New Guinea Football Association president David Chung, advising him that the changes and the conditions were not good for the world game in the country.
He said many of the franchise owners would not support the changes and the competition board must come up with a Plan B.
The proposed Plan B of the National Soccer League is to have two zones playing in their respective competitions, with the winners from each zone qualifying for the final.
Zone one covers the Southern Region, while Zone Two covers the Momase, Highlands and New Guinea Islands regions.