The five teams competing in the inaugural OFC Women’s Champions League in Papua New Guinea received a warm welcome at the official pre-tournament cocktail function at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium on Tuesday night.
The teams mixed and mingled with each other before hearing from keynote speakers including PNGFA President and OFC Vice President John Kapi Natto and the Honorary Powes Parkop, Member of Parliament and National Capital District Governor.
Parkop thanked OFC for bringing the tournament to Port Moresby.
“For us, I chaired the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and ending gender-based violence. It’s a big challenge in PNG so hosting this event for us is a good initiative and most welcome because it highlights the potential of our women and young girls and the game can belong to women and men.”
For Kapi Natto the OFC Women’s Champions League represents a huge step forward for the sport in Oceania.
“We have been promoting men for the last 20 years in the Champions League and women have missed out. In the last 10 years we have seen women only competing at the Pacific Games platform,” Kapi Natto said.
He added this tournament can be a springboard for women’s footballers around the Pacific.
“We have not seen women rising to the level where they can play annually around the country. Seeing this opportunity now is really going to test women at a high level and by creating this platform it will inspire so many young girls. Here in PNG I am so excited, and it will attract more girls to continue to participate in football.”