The National Soccer League (NSL) of Papua New Guinea will kick-off again on January 19th next year and the league is getting interest from all over the country.
The Expression of Interest (EOI) deadline for clubs wishing to take part in the restart of football in PNG is looming ever closer. NSL Manager Leslie Babaga tells the Papua New Guinea FA (PNGFA) website that any late submissions after the deadline on December 31st will not be accepted.
The new-look NSL looks set to be the biggest ever, with newly appointed PNGFA President Jon Kapi Natto keen to expand league football out to the rest of the country.
Previous versions of the NSL have seen only a Southern and Northern zone take place, but this edition will also include a Highlands and an Island division (called NGI) if enough teams express interest.
The PNGFA are hoping to have seven teams in the Southern and Northern conferences while the Highlands and NGI conferences will have six each.
See the bottom of the article for all teams interested in joining the NSL.
Each team will then compete within their regions and the top two teams from each will advance to quarter-finals. There they will play home and away legs to see who will reach the final.
“This format will depend on the confirmed number of teams submitting their expression of interest,” Leslie Babaga told the PNGFA.
In the Southern conference, a massive 12 teams have expressed interest, but only two have so far submitted an official EOI and the required K5,000 payment. In the Northern conference, there are six teams interested and one submitted and paid EOI.
In the Highlands, there are five teams expressing interest, with one team having done the required paperwork and payment here as well, while in the NGI there are so far only three teams who have expressed interest.
The world governing body FIFA are keeping a close eye on things in PNG since the reunion and Babaga say they have a new criterion for the PNGFA to follow, so they will have to conform to those new changes. Babaga has not disclosed the criterion.
The teams that have expressed interest are:
Southern Conference: Southern Strikers FC, FC Momase, Hekari United FC, Central United FC, Central Coast Avala FC, Oro/MaClaren FC, Port Moresby Soccer Association, Sivitatana Soccer Association, PRK Eremas FC, Central Football Association, Kalibobo United FC, FC Bougainville.
Northern Conference: Toti City FC, Madang FC, Morobe United FC, Besta PNG United FC, Snax Lahi FC, FC Morobe Wawens.
Highlands: Wabag Soccer Association, Mendi Soccer Association, Apporo Mai United FC, Tabubil Soccer Association.
NGI: Kokopo Urban Football Association, Manus Soccer Association, Lihir Soccer Association.