Port Moresby (The National) – “WE love a challenge and this is fantastic,” was all Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko could say after he picked Brazil to face Papua New Guinea in the opening match of the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup on Nov 13 in Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea faces a series of intriguing challenges against Brazil, Sweden and South Korea in Group A.
Tkatchencko officiated at the official draw for the three-week tournament at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, last Thursday.
During his speech the minister thanked FIFA president Gianni Infantino, FIFA executives and the competition officials for giving PNG the opportunity to host the U20 women’s World Cup.
While highlighting what PNG can offer to the visiting teams, Tkatchenko said: “As you have seen the world over, participation in women’s football continues to grow and the opportunities for women and for football in PNG and the Pacific Islands will gather momentum from these kinds of events in the Oceania region.
“I say this honestly and with conviction that women are influential,” Tkatchenko said.
“In partnership with football, our country has the opportunity now to show the world how women can inspire and empower.
“To the 16 teams competing, you will inspire a generation of young women to believe in themselves and dream beyond their boundaries,” he said.
Group A: Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Sweden, South Korea; Group B: Spain, Canada, Japan, Nigeria; Group C – France, USA, Ghana New Zealand; Group D – Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, Korea Republic.