Papua New Guinea
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PNG and Samoa Withdraw from OFC U-16 Women's Championship 2023

Papua New Guinea and Samoa have officially withdrawn from the highly anticipated OFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2023, which was to take place in Tahiti from the 13-30 September 2023.

This unexpected development has raised eyebrows across the football community.

Both the Papua New Guinea Football Federation (PNGFA) and the Football Federation Samoa (FFS) will face scrutiny from the OFC Ethics and Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the rules outlined in the OFC-U16 Women’s Championship regulations. Their reasons for withdrawal will be closely examined.

The OFC Executive Committee has swiftly approved a change in the tournament's format and a redraw of the participating teams in response to this sudden shift. Instead of the initially planned twelve teams, the competition will now feature eight teams, divided into two groups of four for the group stage.

The revised tournament structure will encompass the play-off stage, featuring the tussle for fifth place and the play-off for seventh place. Following this will be the knockouts including the highly anticipated semi-finals, the play-off for third place, and, ultimately, the grand final.

The tournament dates have been condensed to run from September 13-26, with the draw for the revised fixture set to be unveiled today. This rapid adjustment aims to minimize disruptions and maintain the integrity of the competition.

PNGFA's General Secretary, Gordon Manub, confirmed that their U16 team withdrew due to the financial burden associated with participation. This revelation sheds light on the challenges faced by teams from the Pacific region, highlighting the need for greater support and resources for developing women's football in Oceania.