Papua New Guinea
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PNGFA general secretary: We don’t have the money

BY SIMON KESLEP

About K600 000 is the expense that PNG Football Association will have to meet for the Under 16 PNG women’s team to attend the 2023 Oceania Football Confederation Under 16 women’s championship in Tahiti.

PNGFA General Secretary Gordon Manub told this paper it is because of the excessive cost that they had to withdraw the team from the tournament.

He says it is even expensive to meet a single player’s travel costings.

“It was costing us K23,600 per person to fly all the way from PNG to Brisbane, to Auckland and then down to Papeete, Tahiti…The cost of holding the players there when we calculated it went up to approximately K600, 000 and it could be even more…we just didn’t have the money,” says Manub.

WITHIN just a week of OFC sanctioned tournament turnaround with the return of the PNG U23 men’s, Manub says they had to prepare again to send the U16 women’s national team.

“The basic reason is like I said, we didn’t have the money, K600 000…we had money but it was less than the K600 000.”

The recent referral of the PNG U23 men’s to the FIFA judiciary bodies is also likely to see the U16 women’s national team going through the same process.

“Yes, we will be…we had a look at the regulations and it is stated that we will pay a penalty. They will charge us in NZ dollars, apart from the charge that will be imposed on us, they will also have sanctioned against us.”

“Sanctioned may be that they suspend us from attending that age group tournament in the future…but that is not stipulated in the regulations.

The regulations state they will penalize us with monetary fine…penalize us for not attending and that may be a sanctioned against us from attending U16 tournament,” says Manub.

Several weeks ago, a dialogue between Manub and OFC took place and he (Manub) did check up on how/what fines and sanctioned will be against PNGFA/PNG U16 women’s team if they had pulled out.

Manub earlier this week did confront the players (U16 players) and informed them about the team’s withdrawal from the tournament.

“We don’t get support from any other entity apart from the support that we get from OFC or FIFA..”

When asked to clarify if PNGFA receive funding from OFC or FIFA to attend tournaments overseas, Manub says it is the responsibilities of Mas (Member Associations).

“It is actually the MAs…it is our responsibility like every year we have tournaments in the various age categories. When we have the tournaments, the onus is on the countries that are travelling out to secure funding.”

“Funding is (only) given to countries that host like how we hosted the Women’s champions league (OFC),” says Manub.

Since taking office just mid this year, Manub has been in consultation with OFC to secure the competition calendar for next year.

He says this will give ample time for planning to send the national teams as well as to use as leverage to approach government and business houses to support these various teams.