Pacific Games Council (PGC) President Vidhya Lakhan has hit back at criticism from the New Zealand football team that the Athletes' Village is not of an acceptable standard to live in, claiming it is one of the best of its kind in the 52-year history of the event.
The All Whites have decided to relocate to a nearby hotel after coach Anthony Hudson branded venue conditions in Papua New Guinea’s capital as “crazy”.
New Zealand were not officially invited to compete in football at the Pacific Games but are doing so as the tournament doubles as a qualifier for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.
Lakhan told a press conference here today that his colleague Andrew Minogue, the PGC executive director, had spent three nights in the Village and insisted neither he nor any of the athletes residing there had any complaints.
“It is definitely not a five-star hotel but it is one of the best Games Villages' we have had in the Pacific Games,” he said.
“I think that in itself speaks volumes of what Papua New Guinea is providing in terms of accommodation for our athletes.
“I’m not aware of what the expectations of the New Zealand football team are.
“I also know they’re complaining about the weather as well.
“When our teams go and play football in New Zealand in the winter, we cannot complain about the weather.
"They organise the tournament so we take part.
“They choose the times of the tournament so we don’t complain.
“So from our perspective I don’t know where they’re coming from but from what we have seen, what we have experienced, we have no complaints at all.”
Hudson, who previously managed Bahrain, also slammed the scheduling of the tournament, claiming it is “unheard of” to potentially have to play five games in 10 days.
But Minogue claimed the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) were very supportive of the programme, which they endorsed.
"OFC have actually shown us schedules of previous Olympic qualification tournaments in this region that New Zealand have participated in that show a five-match tournament in a 10-day cycle so the OFC wouldn’t have signed off the programme had it not been something that they’d done before - it’s what they do" he said.
"So again, from our perspective as the Games Council Organising Committee, we’re fully supportive of the schedule as it’s been drawn up and the PGAs (Pacific Games Associations), our member Confederations who are participating in it, are quite comfortable with those arrangements and have not complained.
"I think it’s also important to note, New Zealand in football are not actually invited to play in the Pacific Games tournament itself so whether they want to stay in hotels or how they want to arrange their team, we are more than happy with whatever arrangements they feel are necessary for them to make."
The men’s two-time defending champions New Caledonia will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of titles in Port Moresby and seventh overall since the Games started in 1963.
All eight competing teams will take part in the pool matches to determine who will advance to the Olympic qualifying final and the Pacific Games final.
Tahiti in Pool A and New Caledonia in Pool B will not take part in the Olympic aspect of the competition.
They not members of the International Olympic Committee as they both an overseas collectivity of France.
The Pacific Games semi-finals will continue after the Olympic qualifying final with New Zealand dropping out at that stage and Tahiti and New Caledonia returning to the tournament.
A total of 32 football matches are due to held in 12 days at Port Moresby 2015.
The pool matches are scheduled to start at the Bisini Grounds starting tomorrow, while the finalsare due to take place at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium on July 16 and 17 for the women and men respectively.
May 2015: Port Moresby 2015 confirm venues for football tournament at Pacific Games
November 2014: Oceania Football Confederation to rule if Pacific Games will be used as Rio 2016 qualifier