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Toti City’s sponsor believes the organisers of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League should consider changing its format and introducing more prizes for the tournament.
“Sending our team to New Caledonia costs at least around K100,000 (US$27,476),” sponsor Ian Chow said.
“Our investment in the franchise becomes fruitful if we win the Champions League.
“I understand that if you win the Champions League, you get US$500,000 (K1.68 million).
“If you don’t win the final, you get nothing.
“As a sponsor, I think the current format has to be changed.
“I don’t feel that it’s correct because most the Pacific Island countries do not have the same funding as the New Zealand teams, and New Zealand probably wins nine times out of 10.
“I have already discussed the matter with Papua New Guinea Football Association president John Kapi Natto, and the format and the prizes need to be looked into.
“So if teams finish second, third or fourth, at least they can receive something to compensate for all the expenses involved with competing in the Champions League.
“We need to talk to OFC to try to change the format because we are not like Europe, the Americas and Africa.
“Pacific Island countries don’t have all the resources to bring their teams to the standard they need to be.
“We need more funding or more assistance but then it comes back to us.
“If we can be compliant with regard to the money we’re getting, then we will get more funding from OFC and Fifa.
“But I think the election of John Kapi Natto is a good move for football in the country.”
Chow said his company Lae Biscuit Company had also helped Morobe Wawens by giving them biscuits. “Our main team is Toti City but we just wanted to help Morobe Wawens,” Chow said.
“To go there, you need at least K100,000.
“If you make the finals, you have to have extra money to sustain the team.
“Toti City are okay because we are selling biscuits and we can fund them but it’s getting harder.“I think Toti City are a very experienced side.
“We probably have half of the PNG Kapuls in our team, so I think we have a good chance.”
Meanwhile, City departed for New Caledonia yesterday ahead of their Champions League campaign.
The Papua New Guinea champion play Tahiti’s AS Tefana in the opening group match on Saturday.
Coach Peter Gunemba said the team had been in camp for the past three weeks.
“We played one match in the Kumul Petroleum Holdings National Soccer League and we are ironing out our mistakes,” he said.
“But with the help of the High Performance Centre, the players’ spirits are high.
“The team has acquired the services of PNG Kapuls captain Michael Foster in the midfield.
“So overall, we are preparing well and looking forward to starting the tournament on a good note.
“This is our fourth appearance at the Champions League and most of the players have had a taste of the tournament. So the team know what is expected of them.”
He said every match in the Champions League was always tough.
City are in group A with host Hienghene Sport (New Caledonia), AS Tefana (Tahiti) and Malampa Revivors (Vanuatu).
Fixtures: Sat, Feb 10 – Toti City FC vs AS Tefana; Wed, Feb 13 – Malampa Revivors vs Toti City; Sat, Feb 16 – Hienghene Sport vs Toti City.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media