Saturday, September 30, 2023
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PNG fails to travel to NZ for opening match

Papua New Guinea has failed to travel to Auckland on time to play against the host nation and defending champions New Zealand in their opening match of Group A at the OFC Men’s Under 23 Olympic Qualifier 2023 on Sunday.

OFC has confirmed the match between New Zealand and PNG which was scheduled to kick start at 3pm at Go Media Mt Smart Stadium will not take place.

As per FIFA regulations for the Preliminary Competitions of the Olympic Football Tournaments Games of the XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024, the matter will be referred to the relevant FIFA judicial bodies.

Should PNG fail to travel to New Zealand next week, this will mean that the Digicel Junior Bula Boys will only play one Group match against New Zealand and despite the result, both teams will book their spot for the semi-final stages.

Initially, Group A consisted of four teams with the likes of Fiji, New Zealand, American Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

However, earlier this month American Samoa pulled out of the tournament and on Saturday, the Papua New Guinea squad was unable to travel to New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Fiji will open its campaign against New Zealand at 3pm on Wednesday.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist |


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