PNG sets sight on bigger global events

THE country’s sporting revolution will not see an end anytime soon following the successful close to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup- with plans now underfoot to bid for the Commonwealth Games and potentially the World Youth Olympics if the commonwealth fails to materialize.

The indications were given by Minister for Sports Justin Tkatchenko and Governor for NCD Powes Parkop during the week at a press conference.

“Now the other challenge is for us and the governor as a government to look at the bid in 2028 (2026) I believe for the commonwealth games,” Tkatchenko said.

“The Prime Minister has already said that we can do it, the governor has said that before that we can do it- I feel that with the experience we have got that we can really bid without fear and favor for a commonwealth games in the future.

“If Jamaica (in 1966), a small island country, can hold a commonwealth games- Papua New Guinea can do it without fear or favour.

“So it is going through the process of calling up and talking to our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth getting their support as well so this will take time.”

He said despite the timeline for a shot at the international event a while away, 10 years, the process will have to start if the country is going to be considered.

“And I think that Papua New Guinea is more than ready to host such an event.Our infrastructure is already there- it is just organization and making it happen- so that is another challenge that we look forward to in the future,” he said.

“But all I can say is the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup is now a feather in the cap of Papua New Guinea, it has now shown the world who Papua New Guinea is.”

“And we are truly the leaders in the Pacific without fear or favour to our neighbours. We have shown the Pacific and the rest of the world what we can achieve at the world level with sport and we’ve done it.”

Governor Parkop said if the bid was not going to be successful, he was setting his eyes on another big event in the Youth Olympics.

“If the Commonwealth Games organisers do not see the light and come here, then there must be something wrong with them,” he said.

“We have shown that we can host a commonwealth games successfully, and it’s about time the Commonwealth came to the Pacific.

“It has been everywhere except the Pacific, apart from New Zealand and Australia, but what I mean the Pacific is the small island states.

“If they do not come we are going to bid for the Youth Olympics. We will just stay at the top at the global level that is if they do not respect us enough to think that we still cannot do it.”

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