Minister for Sports and 2015 Pacific Games, Justin Tkatchenko, said this after the launching of the semi-professional competition the Digicel Cup last Thursday.
“I must apologise to the sports concerned but remind them that it is a short term sacrifice for a long term gain,” Tkatchenko said.
The refurbishment exercise has forced sporting competitions to look for alternative venues, which for many has not been forthcoming with institutions in the city.
He said tenders have been done and work should start in the mid year.
Tkatchenko urged institutions to help sort out this problem for the benefit of the athletes. He said the University of Papua New Guinea issue on the use of their grounds was being handled.
The Minister wrote to the administration to allow sports like athletics that had stopped from using the fields to return and continue their training programmes.
“The UPNG oval is not an issue anymore and if there is, I will get to the bottom of this,” Tkatchenko said.
The government has allocated K240 million for the construction of the Games village and UPNG will benefit after the Pacific Games.
“All we ask is for them to allow us the use of their ovals and it would be silly not to allow our athletes the facilities to train,” Tkatchenko said.
Attempts to talk to the UPNG administration were unsuccessful. A memo was saying a statement would be released this week.
Port Moresby (The National)