PNG Football Association technical director steps down amid U-17 national team blunder allegations

Two nations did not take part in the most recent OFC U-17 Championship played in Fiji; Solomon Islands were penalised after fielding an overaged played in the previous edition of the tournament and did not take part of the tournament and Papua New Guinea, somehow, missed the window to send its own players’ selection to Oceania Football Confederation – losing so the opportunity to take part of the tournament. The competition that ended up this February giving New Zealand and New Caledonia two spots to the U-17 World Cup to be played still this year in Peru.

According multiple sources, the Technical Director of PNG Football Association, Paul Isorua, was the responsible for the unimaginable mistake – he stepped down from his position recently. Isorua, that worked alongside PNGFA’s president John Kappi-Nato for a reasonable period resigned his spot after massive pressure faced after the Papua New Guinea’s age group team did not have a chance to travel Fiji to participate in the competition.

Paul Isorua (right) – Sunday Bulletin

Alongside Isorua, the now former General Secretary of the entity Pius Letenge also resigned – thus, Letenge alleged medical conditions to leave the position. It’s understood the governing body already decided who will replace Isorua; PNGFA is set to have a conferece this week in Madang.

Not only local fans gave voice to their frustration; even well-known members of the football community expressed insatisfaction with the amateur mistake: “It therefore saddens me to see the PNG flag not flying at the tournament. An opportunity that will be sorely missed by our budding youth in the country. The tournament also provides a metric to measure ourselves in the region and also provides some incentive for future players.In saying so, I cant emphasize enough that there must be some drastic intervention or inquiry into what went wrong and how we can make sure that such a tournament if not any tournament is not missed again“, said Papua New Guinea national team captain, Alwin Komolong about the case in a social media statement.

Papua New Guinea relies on its FA – as every country does – to develop its football. Oceania is a place where the local federations must do a big part of the role through the development of the game as the vast majority of the clubs are not full-professional. It is always important to give emphasis that the organisation within the governing body must be transparent and with know-how in the respective areas.


2 thoughts on “PNG Football Association technical director steps down amid U-17 national team blunder allegations

  1. A lame excuse as being late to submit the names was basis of incompetence.

    The youth team was the basis for future national teams thus critical attention must be paid to their upbringing in terms of staffing all the way to competition management.

    Finally thank you to the two gentlemen for their time and effort in leading the Association over the last few years.


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