KUALA LUMPUR (16 MAY 2013): They are champions in their own ways but the battle for the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 is expected to be far more challenging on June 14-15 at the Kuala Terengganu Indoor Stadium.
Two teams each from three Southeast Asian countries – Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei – are poised to stamp their authority in their quest for the coveted trophy. The event is expected to draw a large crowd of enthusiastic futsal fans.
Malaysia will be represented by M.A.C. FC, a team comprising mainly university students from Shah Alam, and Terengganu-based Gelombang FC. Malaysian teams M.A.C. FC and Gelombang FC emerged winners from a total of 256 teams that took part in the qualifying matches held across Peninsular Malaysia last year in the Red Bull Futsal 5 Championship.
They will be joined in the fray by Brunei’s Indera SC Futsal and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (Majlis Sukan Angkatan Bersenjata Diraja Brunei or widely known as MS ABDB). The Mountbatten Football Club A and B teams will lead Singapore’s charge.
Red Bull Malaysia’s Executive Director, Jyn Wee, said fans in Terengganu should take this opportunity to watch the best teams from the three countries parade their skills as they battle for honours.
“After the success of the inaugural tournament in 2011, Red Bull Malaysia is excited to host the upcoming event in Kuala Terengganu,” said Wee in a press conference at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya today.
“Futsal has been a popular game among the youths of Malaysia and with the best teams lined-up for the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013, I am extremely confident that fans will enjoy this event. We are very proud and honoured to have the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) sanction and partner us in this event to ensure that this tournament is played professionally.”
He added that organising this event in Kuala Terengganu also provides the rare opportunity for futsal fans from neighbouring towns to watch these exciting matches held over two days.
Also in attendance at the press conference was FAM Assistant General-Secretary, Dato’ Haji Ahmad Fuad Daud.
Meanwhile, Dato’ Ahmad Fuad expressed his gratitude to Red Bull Malaysia for providing Malaysians the opportunity of participating in a high-level tournament such as the Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013, which opens the doors for youths to display their talents and skills.
“It is never easy organising a tournament involving foreign clubs but Red Bull has shown the way in hosting this second edition of the event which speaks highly of their commitment, dedication and sincerity in elevating the level of futsal in Malaysia,” said Dato’ Ahmad Fuad, adding that the national governing body welcomes efforts by the private sector and corporate bodies in the development of football in the country.
The champions for this year’s Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 will receive RM20,000 and the runners-up RM10,000. The third and fourth-placed teams will pocket RM5,000 and RM2,000 respectively.
In the draw conducted today, Indera SC Futsal, Mountbatten FC ‘B’ and M.A.C. FC are drawn in Group A while Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB), Gelombang FC and Mountbatten FC ‘A’ are placed in Group B.
The Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup is hosted on a rotational basis among the three countries since it was inaugurated in 2011. Bandar Seri Begawan’s QAF FC ‘B’ emerged champions two years ago despite holding the Malaysian LTS FC team to a 3-3 draw in regulation time. They won because they held a better goal difference in the round robin competition.
Mimi Afzan Afza, the M.A.C. FC team manager, said they do not lack in experience as most of their players are consistently involved in futsal tournaments organised by institutions of higher education, and they are determined to put up a good show in the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup.
“We are extremely excited and ready for the big challenge ahead. It will be interesting competing against teams from Brunei and Singapore as it will give us a chance to gain the experience in a regional tournament,” said Mimi Afzan, whose romance with the game prompted her to set up the team two years ago.
Indera SC Futsal, who had captured the Red Bull NFABD Futsal Champions League 2012 by defeating MS ABDB in the final, will be hoping to continue the momentum in Kuala Terengganu next month.
“The RBNFCL is a very tough competition with 40 teams involved. Being champions gives us the confidence of going into the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 with a strong sense of responsibility,” said team manager Aminuddin Nasuha.
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