OCEANIA Football Confederation (OFC) and Papua New Guinea Football Association president, David Chung, says finding suitable land in Port Moresby to build an academy is becoming a headache.
During a press conference last week in Port Moresby, Chung said building an academy was important towards popularising the game.
“If PNG wants to develop better skilled players for the future, we must build an academy in Port Moresby, as it is the nerve-centre of the country,” Chung said.
Chung made reference to emerging Polynesian country American Samoa, as an example due to its programmes in place.
“No more are they being beaten by huge margins as they had been in the past,” he said.
“They have a strong mentoring programme which is encouraging a lot of children to play the game – unlike before,” Chung added.
He said that bridging the gap for the Polynesian island nations to be on par with the predominant Melanesian countries is one of his goals as the head of OFC.
“You can just imagine more than 1000 children going through each of these academies around the country annually and from those, the best are groomed.
“In the long term, we’ll see a flood of quality players,” he said.
Chung said that progression does not help when the PNGFA is still fighting a long battle with the relevant authorities to secure land in the southern and highlands region.
“Soccer is the most widely played sport in provinces throughout PNG, but is not administered with proper structures in place.
“As yet, continuous political infighting and lack of national government support mars the growth of the game,” he said.
Chung, who holds the title of one of six confederation FIFA deputy presidents, said he is playing his part to bring development back to PNG where it is non-existent.
“Progress is good with FIFA confirming funding for a full upgrade of the national headquarters and training centre in Lae.
“The technical training centre in Kimbe is about to complete phase two of construction while Bougainville is set to begin.”
Chung said deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion, has pledged the national government’s support to host the 2020 FIFA Congress in Port Moresby.
Port Moresby (The National)