PETALING JAYA: Malaysia are among 32 countries scheduled to take part in the Danone Nations Cup (DNC) football tournament for Under-12 players in Lyon, France, from Sept 1-3.
Besides taking part in the competition, the young footballers will also get to meet French star Zinedine Zidane, who is the global ambassador for the annual event, held since 2000.
Danone Malaysia, with the support of the Education Ministry and the FA of Malaysia (FAM), will fund the state selections, national finals and the trip to France.
“Malaysia is the fourth Asian country after China, Japan and Indonesia to be involved in this tournament,” said Oliver Maes, the managing director of Danone Malaysia. “Every young aspiring Malaysian footballer will be dreaming of making the trip to France.”
The national-level competition will involve all state teams, including Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. The Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) will conduct trials in Selangor (April 29), Kuala Lumpur (April 30), Perak (May 13), Penang (May 14), Kedah (May 27), Perlis (May 28), Kelantan June 10), Terengganu (June 11), Pahang (June 24), Malacca (July 8) and Negri Sembilan (July 9).
The national Finals will be held in Kuala Lumpur from July 22-23 and the winning team will be sent to France.
The competition is played on half a football field. Each team comprises 14 players with only nine taking to the pitch at any one time. The game is played over 20 minutes.