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Wednesday 27 January 2016 | Published in Regional


PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea Sports Minister says it’s a total embarrassment the women’s football team was forced to withdraw from the Olympic playoff against New Zealand over visa issues.

After losing the opening leg in Lae at the weekend, PNG were forced to pull out of the return match in Auckland because the squad didn’t have the required visas for New Zealand.

PNG’s Sports Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, says the whole situation is unacceptable.

“PNGFA totally stuffed it up. They didn’t get their act together and they have let down our girls big time. I can’t see why they wouldn’t have had it done - they knew they were travelling to New Zealand and to travel to New Zealand and Australia you need to have a visa.”

Tkatchenko says whoever is responsible for not arranging the visas should lose their job.

Papua New Guinea could face sanctions from FIFA after withdrawing from match.

FIFA were notified of PNG’s withdrawal when the squad did not receive the required visas to enter New Zealand for the return match.

The withdrawal is being analysed by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will decide on whether further steps or investigation is required.

The Post-Courier reports that the PNG players were left in tears at Port Moresby’s Jackson’s International Airport on Sunday.