The release by Lae City FC will undoubtedly add mounting pressure on PNGFA and the NSL organisation, with General Secretary Pius Letenge, rumoured to have resigned.
Reigning seven-time PNG National Soccer League Champions Lae City FC have released a statement expressing disappointment at PNG’s governing football body, the PNGFA.
The two-page release questioned PNGFA’s Fair Play ethics, citing instances dating back to the 2020 OFC Champions League qualifiers, in which Lae City defeated Hekari United.
In 2020 both Lae City FC and Hekari FC qualified for the OFC qualifiers and in a twist of the normal, Hekari FC though runner-up to Lae City FC earned the home game advantage while Lae City FC travelled out to Vanuatu for the challenge. PNG was the only standout in the qualifiers as the rest of the participating Pacific Island nations minor premiers remained in their country earning the home game advantage.
Lae City also claim, that the club is not being given the acknowledgement by the governing body in PNG.
Last year Lae City FC defeated Hekari United FC again earning the pass to the OFC qualifiers but at the end of the match, everyone just walked off.
No official acknowledgement and announcement on game day and not even a show of face by PNG Soccer executives to Lae City FC team at the end of the match. Nothing to show for the acknowledgement from PNGFA.
And at the OFC qualifiers in New Zealand, it was evident that the participating teams stood out having been backed by respective mother bodies in terms of player transfers in order to bring out the best of their performance.
But for Lae City FC, it was the unlikely, as the team lacked the support of the PNGFA administering its role to effectively process recruitment of its overseas players.
At the end of the inaugural National Soccer Conference Soccer League normal round in the Northern Conference last year, Lae City FC came out minor premiers. And again, no formal presentation at the end of the normal rounds.
Meanwhile in the Southern Conference in Port Moresby, Hekari FC was presented the minor premiership on the same day of completion of normal rounds.
Lae City FC is set to meet Hekari United in Port Moresby on February 4th, as confirmed by PNGFA. However calls are being made for the final to be held outside of PNGs capital, something that hasn’t happened since 2014 – especially after the hooliganism seen last weekend at PNG Football Stadium, venue of the grand final match.
The release by Lae City FC will undoubtedly add mounting pressure on PNGFA and the NSL organization, with General Secretary Pius Letenge, rumoured to have resigned.
2 thoughts on “Lae City FC Express ‘Fair play’ Frustration”
The board probably has an affinity for Hekari as they are the most successful team in PNG if we look at the league trophies and especially the Hekari OCL win in 2010.
Because I have a world ranking website, I like to follow especially these competitions like OFC Champions League, where I know both Lae and Hekari will participate this year.
Papua New Guinea Ranking 2023 here: https://footballalphabet.com/countries/papua-new-guinea