Telikom National Soccer League board chairman Isaac Lupari.
The new NSL board decided at its first meeting last weekend that there would be no further extensions to the deadline and available slots would be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Board chairman Isaac Lupari says clubs needed to be more professional on and off the field and especially before the season’s kick-off in January.
He says so far Hekari United are the only franchise that have paid their fees while other clubs have been given another week to make payment or face the prospect of being excluded from the semi-professional competition.
“The board will make a decision at the weekend on which teams that will participate and they are optimistic franchise teams will come good as the board is determined to lift the level of the competition,” he says.
Lupari said the board established a business development and marketing committee to review the structure of the competition and make try to make the NSL more sustainable and professional.
“I believe soccer is the only sport that can excel into the next stage and professionally into the region and the world of football and the board wants us to play our part in this area,” he says.
“Rugby league is now moving with the support of the government and we will also want the support of the government in this sport loved and played by many Papua New Guineans.
“We have got what it takes and all it needs is some good support and some policy and structural changes for the future development of the National Soccer League.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us to make sure soccer gets to the next level.”
Lupari adds that the NSL would work with the PNG Football Association (PNGFA) to develop the game at local club level.
He also urges business houses to support franchise clubs and commended Telikom PNG for its continued sponsorship of NSL.
Teams that have expressed interest in the 2013 competition are: Hekari United FC, Port Moresby City United FC, Yamaros FC, Eastern Stars FC, Morobe/Gigira United FC, Besta United FC, Bulolo Morobe Mining Joint Venture FC and West New Britain Tavur FC.