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League kick-off postponed

NSL board chairman Isaac Lupari says following the board meeting on Tuesday only Hekari United FC, Welgris FC and Besta FC had met the December 14 deadline.

With the competition originally scheduled to kick-off in early January, it has now been deferred to February 2.

Lupari says the board decided that only six teams would take part in the new season given the changes in the OFC calendar.

He says the remaining three spots would comprise of clubs that paid their fees on a “first come, first served basis”.

Lupari says a minimum of 50 per cent of the K80,000 must be paid before the year ends, with the balance required before the season starts in February.

Major sponsor Telikom PNG will host the launching of the first game.

Lupari says with Hekari United taking part in the OFC competition beginning on March 30, the NSL season may clash with the OFC calendar.

The NSL draw would take into account the condensed OFC draw and give allowances for Hekari.

“The board is determined to reform the NSL competition structure to allow more teams representing the provinces, and while we will run the 2013 season with the limited teams we intend to expand in 2014,” Lupari says.

Lupari added that notice would be given to intending franchises to prepare for the 2014 season as the country would be preparing to host the 2015 Pacific Games.

“I again urge potential sponsors and provincial governments to support the franchise teams. The games will take place in Lae and Port Moresby and possibly Mount Hagen pending the availability of quality football grounds for the TNSL.”

Teams that have expressed interest but have not yet made any payments include Eastern Stars FC, Port Moresby City FC, Yamaros FC, Bulolo MMJV FC, Morobe Gigira United FC and WNB Tavur FC.

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