Almost four months have elapsed since the final of the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup, and much has yet to been done to carry on the legacy of women’s football.
In the final days leading up to and throughout the FIFA World Cup held in Port Moresby, much talk and hype had surrounded the tournament being used as a platform for change in addressing a number of areas within the society in Papua New Guinea.
The hype had been built up for over a year with a dedicated team of individuals in the local organising committee. The committee had laid the foundation, for arguably PNGs biggest ever sporting event, with global reach.
A whole host of stakeholders had taken up the challenge, and the talk of a lasting legacy after the tournament, one that would see PNG strive to make societal changes.
The World Cup had brought the country hope, football aside, there was discussions of addressing the various issues surrounding gender equality in Papua New Guinea, and women’s rights and civil liberties.
While the National Government has launched a National Strategy to address gender based violence and women’s empowerment in PNG, it was events such as the world cup that shed light on the issue.
FIFAs arrival into Port Moresby had set the tone for that advocacy.
The Papua New Guinea team did not reach any stellar heights throughout the tournament, but the attention that the PNG U20 national team had received had easily been the highest of any woman’s national team, ever.
A group of 23 unknowns, would turn into household names by the tournaments end.
Upon retaining his seat as president for the PNG Football Associaton, David Chung had announced sweeping changes in terms of football for women in PNG. Understandably, with political infighting delays to the fruition of those programs have come about.
Proposals for a women’s league are still in the pipeline, with further development programs also mooted, however it has been slow and forthcoming.
There is no doubt women’s football will still be a focus in future, however with the world cup hype over, development plans remain to be seen for women’s football in PNG.