PNG football says country will be ready for Women's World Cup
Papua New Guinea is confident of hosting a Women's World Cup football tournament to remember in 2016.
The Papua New Guinea Football Association say being awarded hosting rights for next year's Under 20 Women's World Cup is a big vote of confidence for football in the Pacific.
The decision was announced by FIFA's executive committee, with PNG beating the rival bid from Sweden.
The General Secretary of the PNGFA, Dimrit Mileng, told Vinnie Wylie the announcement is good news for the entire region.
DIMRIT MILENG: This gives the rest of the Oceania region the confidence that, yes though small in terms of land and the level of football not as high as the rest of the world - if we can get our acts together and organise something in that magnitude - including the Pacific Games that is going to be in PNG. This is another bonus for the people of Papua New Guinea, in particular, but more so in the wider community in the region.
VINNIE WYLIE: There are some people that have concerns at your ability to pull it off - what would you say to those people?
DM: There's always been questions surrounding activities in this part of the world and the region because, in terms of resource, we're still developing but I can assure the rest of the world that the government of Papua New Guinea is behind all the bidding process that has taken place. We didn't go to ask FIFA without asking the government, 'can you back our bid', and the government gave us 101 percent support. The government is already pulling its weight around to establish what should be done since Saturday morning so I can assure the rest of the world that when we put an event together we'd like to make it enjoyable and safe for everyone who comes to visit".
VW: And what needs to be done between now and the kickoff of the tournament? The bidding process was quite last minute after South Africa withdrew so you've got a lot of infrastructure of the back of the Pacific Games. What do you need to still complete in time for everything to get underway?
DM: With the Pacific Games, we will have those facilties available but there is specific requirements that FIFA will want us to also look at and those will be sent to the government to make sure all those requirements are also in place. For me, I'm positive we will get through. The government is going to come on board with an organising committee - I'm hopeful that they will fund it - so it will assist with the whole process of making sure the Games are successful in 2016.
VW: And the other benefit of hosting a tournament like this means that Papua New Guinea gets direct entry, so for the first time ever the PNG women's team will be able to compete at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup and there will be two teams from Oceania, so that's great for the development of the sport as well.
DM: That's our major obstacle at the moment, getting a good team organised. Not just being there for the numbers but at least demonstrate that yes we have a family of footballers who actually play football, and play good football. In the area of women's football we see a lot of potential in getting up into the rank in the Oceania Region. PNG women have won three consecutive gold medals at the Pacific Games so we think we could benefit greatly from making the game more popular among the girls.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: