By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Confidence in PNG’s ability to deliver the 2016 FIFA Women’s Under 20 World Cup is being questioned, amid growing concerns over the readiness of competition venues and associated infrastructure.
With limited time on their hands, the Local Organising Committee must now work harder to ensure that all four competition venues and training sit’s comply with FIFA requiremen’s.
The current four competition venues are located within the nation’s capital, Port Moresby: Sir John Guise Stadium, National Football Stadium, Bava Park and PNG Football Stadium.
To date, the lack of physical evidence on-the-ground, particularly on the construction of Bava and the PNG Football Stadium is proving worrisome with FIFA regulations yet to be met.
However, the sports ministry and PNG Sport Foundation have assured that they are working to ensure that all venues are delivered and tested in time.
“Not like the Pacific Games, most of our infrastructure have already been certified. Yes, they are perfect for international football games. It’s only minor changes and minor improvemen’s to these facilities, to make them comply to how they (FIFA) want,” said Sport Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.
“You’ll see a big change over the next three or four months, and especially a month out before the FIFA World Cup when they start to roll out the fit outs for the different stadiums to ensure everything they [FIFA] require is in place,” he added.
About 560 players and officials will be present; the 2016 FIFA Women’s Under 20 World Cup is earmarked to be the biggest sporting event to be broadcasted from PNG to 100 countries worldwide, with an estimated 200 million viewers following the games.
The FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup will be held from November 13 to December 3.