OFC President and FIFA Vice-President Reynald Temarii was delighted with the advent of a third academy in Papua New Guinea.
“Football is an important element that can bring peace among tribes and clans. It is also an instrument to educate children to be good citizens. Not only will they play but at the same time get some education and learn the basic techniques of life and skills of soccer,” Temarii told a crowd of just over 1000 at the Highlands Regional Soccer Academy site.
Present at the ceremony were FIFA Development Officer Glenn Turner, Enga Governor Peter Ipatas, Minister of Provincial Affairs Sam Abal, PNGFA President David Chung and local football officials Ananias Popo and Edward Tauloi.
Temarii acknowledged the ongoing good work of David Chung for his dedication toward bringing football to prominence in Papua New Guinea. Temarii said Chung’s efforts had led directly to FIFA coming forward to provide assistance to Papua New Guinea in terms of developing infrastructure.
Wabag Soccer Association President Ananias Popo said the academy would greatly benefit the youth of the Highlands region especially those that suffered in the shadow of extreme poverty and could not attend school. Popo thanked Governor Ipatas and Honorable Sam Abal for their combined donation totalling in excess of $100,000NZD and a 25-seater bus for the academy.
Wabag Soccer Association (WSA) has produced six international players for the Papua New Guinea women’s team and currently has 12 teams playing in a local men’s competition and will look to expand on those numbers in the coming years.