by Elijah Lavett – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
In the present day, in order to qualify for the Olympic Games, all national teams are to send an under-23 side to represent their countries.
This year’s Pacific Games football competition could feature the U23 sides from the region as the qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
This also means that a lot of senior players across the region, including Solomon Islands and Fiji, may get affected because they may not be able to take part.
Vonnye Kapi Natto, manager of PNG champions Hekari FC, expressed her disappointment with the decision because most of her players are over the age of 23 and therefore will not be eligible in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
If the Pacific Games does become an Olympic qualifier, heavyweights New Zealand will be featured, but would not be a medal contender.
Pacific Games Council Chief Executive, Andrew Minogue said the council would be meeting on this issue and hopes to have a decision soon.