Madang FC will now play in the OFC Champions League after Hekari United Football Club was disqualified from the competition.
Madang FC has been in training since last year in preparation for the 2017 NSL competition and is ready to participate in the Champions League.
Chairman of Madang FC Miok Komolong said Madang is ready and are now looking forward for the competition in two weeks’ time.
Komolong said they are now working on getting the players travelling documents completed before the team leaves for New Caledonia.
The sanctions against the Hekari United Football Club were outlined in a statement by the OFC Emergency Committee.
The OFC announced on 2 February that Hekari United, the 2015-2016 Papua New Guinea National Soccer League winner, has been disqualified after the Papua New Guinea Football Association filed a formal complaint due to the team’s dispute with the football association.
In accordance with the OFC Champions League 2017 regulations – Players and Officials of clubs participating in the OFC Champions League have a duty not to engage in behaviour that damages the integrity of football and Hekari United FC have contravened this duty.
PNGFA senior vice president John Wesley Gonjuan said clubs and teams must uphold the statues of PNGFA and OFC.
“As a club and as an administrator in football, they need to respect the regulations and the statues of the PNGFA and also OFC.
“We sympathise with the players that are caught in between this situation but as an association and as legal body of Papua New Guinea, we need to uphold the constitution of PNGFA, OFC and FIFA and that is why we are together with the OFC in terms of the discipline that has been taken,” said Gonjuan.
Madang FC has been drawn in Group A against host AS Magenta of New Caledonia, AS Central Sport of Tahiti and Lupe Ole Soaga of Samoa. Their first clash will be against As Central Sport in the opening match of the competition on 25 February at Stade Numa Daly Stadium in Noumea, New Caledonia.
PNG Football Association also took a stand this year to support clubs who represented PNG at the OFC Champions League. The support will come in terms of technical and financial.
K50, 000 will be given to both Madang and Lae City Dwellers to assist them in their preparation and also while they are in New Zealand and New Caledonia for the tournament.