Jun
01
2007
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Blatter visits Papua New Guinea

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter recently attended the Congress of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in Kimbe (Papua New Guinea), at which Reynald Temarii was elected OFC President for another four years. Blatter and Temarii, who will be named a FIFA vice-president at the 57th FIFA Congress in Zurich on 30 to 31 May, also opened a mini pitch at a primary school in Kila Kila as a part of the OFC Congress programme. Football is the best-loved sport in Papua New Guinea, which is the biggest country in the OFC with a population of 5.5 million. Blatter was bowled over by the people’s enthusiasm for both the sport and FIFA during his stay on the South Sea island and was cheered on by thousands of locals as he made his way to the parliament building, where he met Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare. The FIFA President announced that his organization would make USD 1 million available for the laying of various football pitches in Papua New Guinea. Accompanied by the country’s ministers of health and community development, Sir Peter Barter and Dame Carol Kidu, Blatter and Temarii also visited the Koki Market Community Learning Centre and hospital in the capital, Port Moresby, where they spoke to several patients, most of whom suffer from HIV, of which there is a disproportionately high rate of infection on the island.