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FIFA President to visit PNG


FIFA President Gianni Infantino

The Federation International of Football Association (FIFA) President, Gianni Infantino and his

delegation will visit the Capital City of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, on Sunday (13 th August,

2023).


The Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) President, John Kapi Natto has announced and confirmed the visit of President Infantino and his delegation during a brief media conference held at Sir John Guise Stadium.


The visit is part of Infantino’s intention to visit Oceania Football Confederation Member

Associations, while attending the Women’s FIFA World Cup matches in New Zealand and Australia.


Mr. Infantino has already visited a couple of countries in the Oceania Region namely – Tahiti, Cook

Islands, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji.


PNG will be his second last visit. President Infantino and his delegation will stay overnight in Port

Moresby and travel to the Solomon Islands to complete his Oceania tour.


Mr. Kapi Natto said it would be an honor and privilege to host the FIFA President and his delegation in Papua New Guinea, especially in Port Moresby.


“Today I am very honored to officially announce that I have received the official letter from the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, who will travel to PNG with his delegation on August 13 th, 2023,” PNGFA President, John Kapi Natto said.


President Infantino is no stranger to PNG, as he last visited PNG during his campaign trail to stand for the FIFA Presidency post in 2015. Upon assuming the role as FIFA’s new President, he visited PNG again to watch the Under-20 Women’s FIFA World Cup in 2016, which was hosted in Port Moresby. This upcoming trip will be his third visit to the country.


“It is an honor to host President Infantino. His visit to PNG and all the Island Nations is more than

just a symbolic visit. It is a significant visit. He has more heart for the Pacific Island countries – also known as Ocean 11.


Our Member Associations have been longing for such a visit from the FIFA President and this was

also OFC’s intention, as well as right across the region, and we are so grateful and express our

gratitude to the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino who has shown respect for the countries that are

normally forgotten and marginalized,” Kapi Natto stated.


Interestingly, Infantino becomes the first FIFA President to visit PNG not once but three times. No

FIFA President has traveled to PNG more than once. Infantino is the first President to do so. Joao

Havenlange was the first FIFA President to visit PNG in 1983, followed by Sepp Blatter in 2007. It is not just a normal visit but a symbolic and historic visit.


His visit is also significant for the President to see for himself the first-hand work that has been done not just in PNG but in the Oceania Region.


“FIFA has spent a lot of money to build sporting infrastructure and facilities in the Pacific Region, as well as in the Oceania Region. For him to come and physically see the developments on the ground is worthwhile,” Natto added.


Meanwhile, during his visit, a football showcase match will be played between the PNG legends and FIFA legends at PNG Football Stadium. It will be a nine-a-side game. The friendly match will coincide with the commemoration and relocation of the PNGFA Head Office from Lae to Port Moresby.


President Infantino and his delegation will leave for the Solomon Islands on Monday and conclude his final visit to the Oceania Region.



Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


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