KAMPAR Rangers will defend the 2nd Ipoh City Inter-national Veterans (40-year-old and above) nine-a-side football tournament which kicks off at the Ipoh Padang tomorrow.
The title-holders are among 30 teams, including one from Singa-pore, participating in the two-day event. PP Jamiyah are taking part for the second straight year.
However, a notable absentee is Hong Kong All-Stars, the losing finalists in last year’s inaugural championships and Joma from Thai-land.
P. Ravindran, the Kampar Rangers team manager cum player, said his players were capable of defending the title.
He said it would be much tougher this year, especially with the other teams having a better knowledge of Kampar Rangers' game.
“Moreover, it is always more difficult to defend a title than to win it,” said the former state and national striker.
Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Hasan Nawawi Abdul Rahman said the football tournament was one of the numerous programmes organised by the City Council to mark the 17th anniversary of the city.
“I am confident the event will further enhance the spirit of unity and create a more harmonious atmosphere among the participants.
“Although there is only one foreign entry, the championships will still be as competitive as several former national and state players will be in action,” said Hasan during the presentation of mock cheques by sponsors of the event.
Hasan Nawawi said like last year, prizes worth a total of RM11,000 would be up for grabs.
He said the champion team would win RM5,000 and the runners-up, RM3,000. The two losing semi-finalists will receive RM1,000 each.
Besides the prizes, the successful teams will receive a trophy each.
The teams have been divided into eight groups and matches will be held over a period of 10 minutes each way.
Group A: Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (Slg), Transnasional Teluk Intan (Prk), Kok Lanas FC (K'tan), Binggo Town Sungei Siput (Perak)
Group B: Ismailian FC (K'tan), RFC (K’tan), CST Auto FC (Prk), Malaysian Police.
Group C: Tenaga (Prk), Perak Chinese Recreation Club (Prk), Kesedar (K’tan), Manjung FC (Prk).
Group D: Kampar Rangers (Prk), State Development Corporation (Prk), Ex Penang State (Pg), MAKSAK, Malaysia.
Group E: Rajawali FC (Prk), M. D. Kuala Kangsar (Prk), Shining Star FC (Prk), Veterans Grik (Prk).
Group F: Majlis Bandaraya Malacca Bersejarah (Mal), Grace Homecare (Prk), Majlis Sukar Jajahan Tumpat (K’tan), JPA (Kul).
Group G: JPS (K’tan), PP Jamiyah (S’pore), Golden Star (Prk), Reserve lll (Prk).
Group H: Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu (K’tan), Ipoh City Council (Prk), Ipoh All Star (Prk), Reserve lV (Prk).