The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ campaign is an opportunity for Papua New Guinea to further build on an upturn in the nation’s football over recent years. Oceania’s most populous nation will host the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016, while in 2010 Hekari United became the only non-New Zealand/Australian side to win the OFC Champions League. Their World Cup qualification history commenced with what is surely their greatest ever result; a 1-0 home victory over New Zealand in 1997. They then featured in qualifying for Germany 2006, and Brazil 2014 where they lost by only a single goal against both New Zealand and Solomon Islands, before securing a draw against Fiji.
With New Zealand icon Wynton Rufer at the helm and an increasingly experienced side the Kapuls have genuine cause for optimism. More players than ever before are playing off-shore in Australia and New Zealand, or impressing for Hekari in the OFC Champions League.
Oceania Player of the Century Rufer needs little introduction. The New Zealand national team icon and former Bundesliga star assumed the helm in early 2014 and his appointment, plus a solid international schedule, indicates PNG are striving to reach new goals.
4 – Papua New Guinea are appearing in just their fourth World Cup campaign, after not featuring in qualifying for either Korea/Japan 2002 or South Africa 2010.
The former stars
Reg Davani, Kema Jack