The four day event has attracted the participation of associations including Lae, Wau, Bulolo, Wewak, Goroka, Wabag, Port Moresby and the host association Madang.
President of Madang Soccer Association Sigfreid Beschel said on Wednesday that the event was supposed to have been staged mid-year. Beschel said while a major sponsor had been secured for the tournament the cancellations and delay had resulted in the company withdrawing its sponsorship.
Beschel said MSA had not been able to secure another sponsor. However he said despite this setback that MSA was pleased it still had the honour of hosting this important meet with the funding assistance from PNGFA.
He said MSA had begun its preparations to host this event two weeks ago and with assistance from the Madang Events Committee particularly to secure the grounds from the Madang Urban Local Level Government to run the games.
“The grounds was our biggest issue but that has since has since been resolved. Generally our preparations, I am pleased to say, have gone well. We have done up the fencing, cut the grass, ruled the lines on the field and more importantly been able to do up the toilets which were in a really bad state,” he said.
Beschel said all teams would be housed at Tusbab Seconday School while all matches will be played at Laiwaden Oval. He said Port Moresby will be going in as the favorites in the tournament but that the host association and Lae would definitely put up a challenge for them.
“Madang has held the title for the U20’s for the last three years while Lae for the U17 in the last tournament,” he added.
He said from this meet the players would be selected for the Oceania games and for MSA the players who were a standout were Manu Arim and Papalau Awile. Beschel said has urged the residents of Madang who may not have any plans for the weekend to go along to Laiwaden and to show the youths participating in this event their support.
The MSA President added that should Madang be given yet another opportunity to host such competitions that the business houses in town would also come good and assist MSA in its bid to promote and develop the code in the province. He said it took time, effort and a lot of money to host events and often times MSA was left to dig deep.
“I hope the next time more companies will jump on board and assist,” he stated.
The Besta meet ends with the finals on Sunday.