Govt concerned with split in PNG soccer

Vice Sports Minister Wesley Raminai says the government is intent on bringing together the two factions in soccer for the benefit of the players and followers of the sport.

Vice Minister Raminai did not hide the fact that PNG football is split and talks are in progress to bring all factions together.

Friday, the first of February, was historic for football in the country as the FIFA World Cup Trophy made a stop in PNG as part of its tour to over 51 countries worldwide.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy, which arrived from Honiara, Solomon Islands, was unveiled at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby.

In his address during the event, Minister Raminai said: “There has been a split in the administration of the sport, with two factions working in isolation.

“While the Government of our country does not interfere in the autonomy of national sporting federations, as they are guided by their respective international federation constitutions, it is imperative that we as leaders do not ignore circumstances that threaten the unity of our people, even in sports.

“Therefore the ministry of sports has been having regular meetings with both parties to resolve this impasse.

“I am glad to announce that we are reaching a way forward for an amicable solution to reunite the game,” stated Raminai.

Meanwhile, representatives of the PNG Government, FIFA officials and Coca-Cola executives were all present to witness the unveiling of football’s most coveted prize.

(Vice Sports Minister Wesley Raminai speaking during the unveiling last Friday)

Sophie Yaruso