THE NATIONAL – Sixteen countries have qualified to take part in the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea from November 13 to December 3, a senior official of the Local Organising Committee said.
Chairman Seamus Marten said Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil and Venezuela rounded off their qualification late last year, joining France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Ghana, Nigeria, New Zealand and hosts Papua New Guinea for FIFA’s second largest women’s football tournament in the world.
Marten said the teams were expected to arrive in Papua New Guinea by Nov 9 at the latest.
He said preceding the team arrival in Port Moresby would be the arrival of FIFA tournament officials staff and referees.
Marten said FIFA was in the process of confirming hotels for the teams to stay in while they are in PNG for this global event.
Four venues in Port Moresby — the Sir John Guise Stadium, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, the National Football Stadium, and the Bisini Sports Complex — were inspected by FIFA officials last year, with recommendations made to the LOC for upgrades to meet FIFA’s minimum requirements.
The Government, through the Sports Ministry and the PNG Sport Foundation, is working closely with the LOC and the venue owners to ensure the venues meet FIFA standard and are ready on time for the games.
Plans are underway to build 16 training grounds to be used by the teams for the 22-day tournament at tertiary institutions and several schools in Port Moresby.