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OFC challenge to go ahead despite coronavirus threat
4:56 pm GMT+12, 06/02/2020, Papua New Guinea

PNG Football Association and Hekari Football Club is set to host the first ever Oceania Football Confederation’s Champion League this month despite threats of the outbreak of Coronavirus.
 
Chairman of the local organising committee Paul Isorua revealed this in a press conference held at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
 
Isorua said the organising committee has asked questions on the issue of the Coronavirus after the world took precautionary measures in shutting down main ports of entries and setting strong surveillance following spread from the Wuhan City of China.
 
“We are well aware of this and right now, the online visa application has been shut down and we’ve advised the other countries to send their application here so we can speed up the process. As it is, the OFC Champion’s League is set to go ahead as planned,”  Isorua said.
 
Four countries will converge in Port Moresby when the OFC Champion league kicks off on the 16th of this month.
 
Isorua said this will be the first time for PNG to host such a magnitude of the game and the organising committee and PNGFA are looking forward to the challenge.
 
Meanwhile PNGFA President John Kapi Natto said the last OFC Champion League was held in 2013 where Hekari United FC hosted Ba FC from Fiji.
 
But this was on a home and away format and Hekari hosted Ba FC at the Lloyd Robson Oval, now known as Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
 
Kapi Natto said this will be the first for the country and in terms of marketing the country out globally it was encouraging to see Hekari United FC winning the bid to host the OFC Champion’s League in Port Moresby.
 
Kapi Natto also revealed that he is no longer involved with Hekari United FC but it was the club’s own initiative to put in their bid by the owner, Vonnie Kapi Natto and they’ve won the bid with the blessing from PNGFA to host this tournament in PNG.
 
“The bid goes out to all the OFC member associations and it is now up to the clubs to bid if they want to host such tournament so Hekari UFC managed to put in their bid and they’ve won that bid to host the tournament here,” Kapi Natto said.
 
Hekari United FC owner Vonnie Kapi Natto said this will be the biggest event in OFC Calendar and for her club to host this event is a dream come true after missing out for many years.
 
Both Hekari UFC and Lae City FC will represent PNG in this OFC Champion’s League.
 
Lae City FC will travel to Vanuatu to compete in the pool B while Hekari United FC host pool A matches here in Port Moresby.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS



 


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