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ARKIB : 09/09/2011

Football legend in full force for inaugural nine-a-side football competition

KUALA LUMPUR Sept 8 — The Ex-State and Ex-National Footballers Association Malaysia will be holding its inaugural Malaysia Day Ex-Internationals/States Invitational Soccer 9”s 2011 on Sept 16 and 17.

The tournamment”s organising chairman Bahwandi Hiralal said the competition was being organised in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration and would be held at the Victoria Institution (VI) field.

"The tournament will see 12 teams compete, eight local teams and four foreign teamss,” he told a press conference here today.

The local teams are Kedah, Penang Kickers, Perak, X-mail KL/Selangor Selection, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, while Western Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei make up the foreign teams.

Bahwandi, who was a national and Selangor player in the 70s, said teams for the nine-a-side competition should have seven members aged 45 and above and another seven aged 50 and above.

The teams will be divided into four groups and they have to play a round league before the top two teams of each group proceed to the second round.

"The champion will receive medals and prize money of RM2,500 and a trophy donated by FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. The runners-up receive RM1,000, while third and fourth finishers will receive RM300 and RM200 respectively.

"While the losers” pool winner will receive RM500 and the runners-up RM200,” said Bahwandi.

He added that the tournament not only aimed to bring together players of yesteryears, who were household names, for a congregation of stars in an annual carnival and fun-fillled atmosphere but also to raise funds.

"We wanted to organise the tournament to raise funds for the association, so that we can have a welfare fund and also a scholarship fund for the children of the members.

"Above all, we wanted to have a gathering to bring together players who have not met for a long time to have an opportunity to congregate and reminisce about the good old times, renew old ties and play some football. It is not so much about the competition but a congregation of players from all over the country,” said Bahwandi.

He added that the event would also gather other sports legends at a special dinner on Sept 16 at OCM”s Indoor Arena.

"It will be another nostalgic event. Besides football players, we will also have sports greats from hockey, athletics and badminton. The 1972 Munich Oylmpics contingent is expected to attend in full force,” he said.


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