Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta and his Provincial Executive Council (PEC) has welcomed PNG Football Association president John Kapi Natto and his Member Association Manager Stanley Khanna to its provincial capital to find ways to re-admit Kerema Soccer Association back into the football family.
Mr Kapi Natto was on a familiarization visit last Thursday to support Mr Khanna to ensure Kerema Soccer Association returns to the fold as an affiliate member before he steps out of football.
The trip to Kerema township was to ensure KSA meet all the guidelines and requirement to elect new office bearers to work together to get KSA back as an affiliate to PNG Football Association.
Governor Haiveta had to suspend his PEC meeting to host Mr Kapi Natto and his team stating that as a passionate sport lover, he wanted to see football also find its feet in Kerema Town and also in Gulf province as a whole.
“I have known Mr Kapi Natto for a long time on a business front as board member of Petroleum Resources Kutubu (PRK) and have been following him to get once fragmented football body back to one united football family,”
Mr Haiveta said Gulf people are renowned for rugby league but they are also good in other sports such as basketball, volleyball and soccer too.
“Late Joe Turia and his brother, Toru were products of Kerema Soccer Association through their adopted family, the former Gulf District Administrator Late Don Sigamata.
“He comes here at the only Kerema Main Oval early in the morning and return home in the dark. On Sunday, everyone in Kerema Town goes to church, Late Don Sigamata goes to soccer field trying to convert church goers to follow football,” he said.
Gulf Governor said people around Kerema Bay are good in soccer including from the highlands of the province, the people of Kaintiba who were converted into football by Lutheran Missionaries coming from Morobe province.
“In fact, Kaintiba has a soccer field with rocks in the middle of the field but players negotiated their way around the rocks to play their favourite game and this is true passion of sport of football,” he said.
Mr Kapi Natto thanked Mr Haiveta and his PEC to suspend their PEC meeting to chat with him and his team.
“I am very privilege to set foot in Kerema Township. I have been flying in-and-out of Kerema Airport but never had a chance to visit the small colonial township which administer Western and Southern Highlands during colonial era, and now I am glad to visit the township as football administrator,” he said.
Mr Kapi Natto said his visit is to familiarize and set up network with Gulf Provincial Government through its Sports Office and the football fraternity in Gulf province to get Kerema Soccer Association back into PNG football family.