Solomon Bonitos withdraw from PNG tour due to financial constraints
PNGFA vice-president, NSL chairman and Hekari Souths United FC owner John Kapi-Natto last night confirmed that.
“The Solomons Islands have pulled out at the last minute due to financial problems,” Kapi-Natto said.
“It’s a big setback. I am very upset at this.”
He said he spoke to the Solomons Islands Soccer Federation chief executive officer and the response he got was that there was no money because most of the funds were used on their Futsal team.
“It’s disappointing and for Hekari Souths United FC it’s a big setback,” he said.
Kapi-Natto said the Hekari boys were training and looking forward to the Bonitos visit to PNG.
“Even the PNG national team – they were ready and the preparation we put into this to host Solomon Islands is now a waste of time. I don’t know what to do,” he said.
Kapi-Natto said he could have found a way to help them if only they had notified him earlier.
“I mean they should have the courtesy to let me know early and I could have done something or pulled in some sponsors to help them out.
“But at this last minute I can’t and I am very disappointed,” he said.
The PNG national team have been training for some weeks and including Hekari who have looked forward to this event since two months ago after their return from a Solomon Islands tour.
He said Hekari will now look for a friendly match.
“We still need to continue to have friendly matches to boost the boys preparation for the O-League,”
He said they need one more friendly match under their belt to be more prepared for the O-League challenge.
The international match has been Kapi-Nattos’ dream to rekindle the lost challenge which PNG was lacking in order to improve its ranking in Oceania.
And with the withdrawal of the Bonitos, Kapi-Natto’s efforts have been wasted, especially the new uniforms which he personally bought for the national team.
“It’s all ruined, even the uniforms I bought from the Combat company,” he said.
He said he also informed Solomon Star newspaper of their team’s withdrawal which has affected all the preparations that have been in the pipeline. He said he told his boys to now concentrate on the National Soccer League.
Source: Post Courier