The hype created by the preparations for the tournament will see more girls flock in to witness the launch of football development programs in two provinces at the end of this week.
As part of women football development the organization responsible for football in the country Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) will be launching its football program the Meri Futbol League this week.
Meri Futbol will be launched in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville this Friday by PNGFA operations manager Edris Kumbruwah and FIFA Local Organising Committee Legacy coordinator, Margaret Aka while PNGFA vice president Linda Wonuhali and general secretary Dimirit Mileng will launch in Wewak on Saturday.
The Independence Park in Arawa and the Wewak Football field will come alive when school girls in these two provinces gather to witness the launch of the Meri Futbol League.
PNGFA General Secretary Dimirit Mileng said the aim of the program is to provide an opportunity for girls to play more organized football on a regular basis and develop women’s football in Papua New Guinea.
Mileng said, it is a major step for Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) to team up with these two provinces this year to deliver a day of fun for young girls.
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer Seamus Marten said the Meri Futbol program is the way to go to encourage more young girls to participate in football.
He said the launch was timely because in two weeks the U-20 Women’s team from USA and Japan will be in the country for the tri nation series with PNG’s U-20 Women’s team and that will inspire the girls to excel in football.
Marten commended the PNGFA for having taken the program to six centres in Papua New Guinea since 2013 which to date produced some very good players who are now in the U-15 and U-17 PNG Women’s teams respectively.
He said it was a tradition for FIFA to leave a legacy after hosting the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
“With the support of FIFA through legacy programs, we believe that Meri Futbol is the way forward to further develop Women’s’ Football in PNG,” Marten said.