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The National Football Stadium (formerly Lloyd Robson Oval) known as the spiritual home of Papua New Guinea rugby league has been given a boost of K1.3 million with Santos now continuing the stadium naming rights sponsorship for 2022.

Santos Executive Vice President and Co-Head PNG Leon Buskens said Santos is pleased to announce its partnership with PNG’s National Sport – Rugby League through the naming rights of the National Football Stadium following the merger with Oil Search, the inaugural naming rights sponsor.

“Santos is proud to be part of the ongoing development of Rugby League, a sport that many Papua New Guineans love, and the naming rights sponsorship of the country’s world class stadium will go a long way,” Mr Buskens said.

“Sports is an important component of integral human development and Santos’ positive contribution to sports such as rugby league including sporting facilities is lifting the standard of rugby to global expectations. This is also pertinent to other sporting codes that use the facility (the National Football Stadium).

“We have held world class events at the Stadium particularly the FIFA under 20 Women’s World Cup, the 2017 Rugby League World Cup matches, QRL games and other international games such as the Great Britain men’s and women’s tour where PNG made history by beating both teams on home soil.

“Santos’ attainment of the National Football Stadium naming rights is about helping to advance an iconic rugby facility for Papua New Guineans to appreciate and see this as a catalyst for sports development at all levels and furthermore, providing spectators and families a safe environment to watch games.

“Santos is committed to creating positive and long-term impacts in the communities where we live and work.”

National Football Stadium – Lloyd Robson Oval Trustee (LROT) member and Port Moresby Rugby Football League Chairman Dr. James Naipao thanked Santos for supporting the home of Rugby League by continuing the naming rights sponsorship for 2022. Dr Naipao also acknowledged Oil Search for its support since 2016.

“We welcome the continued Santos naming rights sponsorship for 2022 because this will greatly boost the development plans and objectives for rugby league and the overall administration of the sporting code throughout PNG especially in this challenging economic and social environment resulting from the impacts of Covid-19,” Dr Naipao said.

Background

A total of K204 million was invested in the transformation of the Lloyd Robson Oval to the National Football Stadium under the Government’s National Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme which was project led by Oil Search.

The stadium re-development project was approved in November 2013 by the National Government which paved way for construction works in August 2014.

After 17 months of re-designing and renovation, the new facility was handed back to the National Government in February 2016 with an opening trial match played between the PNG Hunters and the Penrith Panthers.

The state-of-the-art facility is currently managed by Lloyd Robson Oval Trust (LROT).

Since 2016, Oil Search and now Santos have supported Rugby League in PNG with over K30 million in naming rights sponsorship, and support in cash and kind towards Rugby League organizations: PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL), Port Moresby Rugby Football League (POMRFL) and Oil Search PNG Orchids, the first national women rugby league team.

The support also included the allocation of free office space to PNGRFL and POMRFL and the stadium revenue sharing arrangement between PNGRFL and PNG Hunters during home games.