22 Dec 2023

Sports news in brief for December 22

3:55 pm on 22 December 2023
Ifira Black Bird club is still waiting for its $1.5 million vatu reward.

Ifira Black Bird club is still waiting for its $1.5 million vatu reward. Photo: Vanuatu Football Federation

Vanuatu - football

The winner of the Vanuatu Football Federation Champions League is still waiting for its prizemoney one month after the event.

Vanuatu Daily Post reported this week the Ifira Black Bird club is still waiting for its $1.5 million vatu reward.

The club management said while they have queried the situation, they have not received any response from Vanuatu Football.

The newspaper reported the delay could have been because of the end of year elections for Vanuatu Football's executives, which was done last week.

Three other clubs are also waiting for prizemoney.

Papua New Guinea - football

Hekari United has claimed the inaugural Papua New Guinea Super Premier League title with a 1-0 win over Lae City Dwellers in Port Moresby at the weekend.

Hekari's win also saw them claim their first major PNG football title in nine years.

The National newspaper reported Hekari got their winner through Yaggi Yasasa in the dying minutes of the game.

The team's last major local title was the 2014 National Soccer League.

Fiji - football

The Fiji Football Association says it has a busy 2024 season to look forward to with a number of regional and international tournaments.

Chief executive Mohammed Yusuf told local media in Suva, there are at least 11 events that Fijian teams will be taking part in around the region, including the Olympic qualifiers for their national women's side.

Yusuf said the Suva futsal side will be going to New Caledonia for the OFC club championship, and the Bula Boys will be competing at the OFC Nations Cup in Vanuatu.

FBC also reports Yusuf saying the Fiji Under-19 side is going to a tournament in Tahiti.

Beach soccer and futsal championships will be hosted by the Solomon Islands and the Labasa clubsde will also compete at the OFC Women's Champions League in September.

Papua New Guinea - rugby league

The Papua New Guinea Hunters will play 10 home games and 10 away games in the new season of the 2024 Hostplus Cup.

The Hostplus Cup is managed by Queensland Rugby League, with the Hunters as an international participant.

The draws, released this week, see the Hunters playing at home against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls on 9 March at the Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

Hunters coach Paul Aiton said he hopes to guide his team to finishing in the top eight in 2024, according to a report in The National.

Fiji - sailing

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee has confirmed Fiji will be represented by two dinghy sailors at the 2024 Olympic Games in France.

The sailors are Viliame Ratului and Sophia Morgan.

They qualified at the Sail Sydney event, which was a Olympic qualifying regatta, earlier this month.

Papua New Guinea - netball

The Papua New Guinea Pepes will compete at the netball Hong Kong Four Nations Cup next month.

PNG will join Hong Kong, Brunei and the Phillipines at the event at the Kowloon Park Sports Center.

PNG had also competed at the Singapore Four Nations event in November, losing the final only to Singapore.

They finished fourth at the recent 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea and Fiji have made advances in the netball world rankings.

Fiji Pearls are now in 16th position following their 2023 Pacific Games performance, only losing to Tonga in the final.

Samoa drops to 17th position while Pacific Games gold medallists Tonga remain at number 8.

Papua New Guinea jumped to 34th position following their Nations Cup and Pacific Games results.

Cook Islands continues to sit 24th. Australian retains number one spot while New Zealand is number two.