The Minister for Sports, Hon. Philemon Embel responded swiftly to PNGFA’s plea for help in record time. After receiving a letter two weeks ago, seeking financial assistance for the squad, from PNG Football Association, Mr Embel took to the task and raised K40,000.00 which he handed over to Senior Vice President Mr. John Kapi Natto at a press conference yesterday.
Mr. Embel acknowledged donations from the National Executive Council, PNG Sports Foundation, Ministry of Sports and other Business houses for contributing K10,000.00 each to the package. He said he is impressed with how football has been developed and managed in the country and commented that “FIFA, the governing body is also willing to assist and develop the code and I am very happy,” said Mr Embel.
He further commended the Sports foundation for their efforts in the NRL bid
On behalf of PNGFA, the Senior Vice President Mr John Kapi Natto acknowledged and thanked Hon. Philemon Embel, MP and Sports Foundation CEO, Mrs. Iamo Launa for the generous support.
He said PNGFA have decided to put a development team in the National League which the Under 20 will play as a lead up to going into other national league team. “They become the national players of Papua New Guinea and like to continuously build the trend,” said Mr. Natto.
He said the country also has a Under 15 and Under 17 which PNGFA want to develop in the country. With just two weeks remaining, hopes are high for the young PNG Under 20 development squad to win the Under 20 Qualifying Tournament in Auckland from 21st – 29 April this year. The winner of the tournament will automatically qualify to represent Oceania to the FIFA Under 20 Championship in Columbia in June.
The team leaves on the 17th and play their first match against Fiji on the 21st.