|Luang Namtha team takes northern U-16
Luang Namtha province's under-16 football team triumphed in the northern U-16 tournament which was held last week in Luang Prabang.
Luang Namtha beat Luang Prabang in the final, winning by three goals to one, while Xayaboury province beat Huaphan 1-0 in the third place play-off.
In the semi-final, Luang Namtha defeated Xayaboury 6-4 on penalties after drawing 2-2, while the host province beat Huaphan 3-1. In the first round of group B, Luang Namtha drew 1-1 with Luang Prabang.
The tournament was held from May 5 to 14 and supported by the Football Federation of Japan.
Head of Luang Namtha's provincial sports department Mr Somphong Inthavong was surprised by his team's success because the young players had only been preparing for the event for 10 days.
After coming top in this tournament, Luang Namtha will continue to support its young players in their preparations for the National Student Games in Savannakhet next year and the ninth National Games in Luang Prabang at the end of 2011.
According to Mr Somphong, the team is also hoping for a new home ground. “Five years ago, we asked the government for 12 billion kip to rebuild the football stadium.”
The funding has not yet been granted and the team does not have sufficient funds to renovate the stadium.
Luang Namtha will join Xayaboury, Luang Prabang and Huaphan provinces from the north, and Vientiane, Champassak, Saravan and Xekong provinces representing the south to compete in the National U-16 Football Tournament in Vientiane next year.
“We will ask for funding to support young teams from the north and south to play in next year's tournament,” said Lao Football Federation Secretary Mr Soulivanh Seunvilay.
“We will select the best players from each province to join the national team to prepare for tournaments at the Asean and Asian levels.”
This year's provincial U-16 teams will be able to compete in the U-17 section of next year's tournament.