Papua New Guinea
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Players assault match officials in NPL

Soccer match officials were mob attacked by players in the country’s elite National Premier League (NPL) competition on Saturday in Lae.

The main game of the triple header between FC Morobe Wawens and Lae City FC hosted at the PNG Football Association Education Centre was thrown into chaos.

Raised tension got the better FC Wawens players who were captured in a video footage throwing punches at the match officials.

This is the competition that the PNG Kapuls national team draws its players from, PNGFA’s


top selection hub.

The ugly scene was condemned by Lae City FC team manager Edwin Rumbam, who says to physically attack the officials like that should be condemned at the highest level.

“Soccer has no place for that,” says Rumbam.

PNGFA competition manager Ahmjad Tekwie who was also present at the venue did not comment on the incident when the Post-Courier reached out to him.

The first half of the match was scrappy due to the wet condition not allowing both teams to play their best, however Lae City managed to lead 1-0 at half time.

Two red cards were given minutes into second as each teams left with 10 men in the field as the pressure began to rise.

The rain continued to disturb the game.

Then a second goal by Lae City for a 2-0 lead was opposed by the Wawens side, however the match officials didn’t explain the decision to award the goal only raised further tension amongst the players to get aggressive.

Later when a Wawens player was lying down on the field after a tackle, somehow ignited several players to vent their anger on the linesman and referee.

The incident was quickly stopped by coaches and other players as Wawens players walked off the field.

National Premier Soccer League competition Manager Ahmjad Tekwie was present on the scene but was not able to comment after the match.

Management from both teams were yet to comment as they await the PNGFA to have a say on the incident.

The other matches in Lae were also played in the rain with POM visitor Hekari United beating United Highlands 4-1 and home side Lae City Dwellers edging Gulf Komara 4-2.