The Papua New Guinea (PNG) senior men’s Australian Football League (AFL) national team, the PNG Mosquitoes, continue to reign as world champions now that the biannual International Cup has been further postponed to 2024.
According to PNG AFL Commission, the Mozzies will remain world champions for another year and the women’s Flames national team, remain in the top 10 of the world rankings.
The PNG Mosquitoes will now be defending their title next year after beating New Zealand in 2017 in the last International Cup. The next event was to be held in 2020 but due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, it was deferred to 2023, and now to 2024.
In the meantime, the PNG AFL Commission is advising all its participating regions to continue running their competitions to keep the players in form and ready to defend the cup for the third time.
However, one AFL Association President is not too happy with the postponement of the International Cup to 2024. The Port Moresby AFL Association President Mr. Douglas Lai said the postponement will further delay plans for preparations for the selections for the national teams.
“Its sad, we planned out our program to the International Cup, but the delay is all to do with Australia and the COVID-19 impacts there, not with us. In PNG we are all go to go.”
Meanwhile, to compensate for that Mr. Lai said the Commission should be looking at concepts to keep the athletes in shape and focused on the game through organizing more national or regional sporting events for players to take part in, and at the same time select the up-and-coming ones to form the national teams.