Following the success of the football tournament at the SEA Games in 2009 and the Suzuki Cup qualifying round last year, Laos will host two more Asean football competitions this year.
According to the Asean Football Federation (AFF), the first tournament scheduled to play out in Vientiane from July 7-17 is the AFF boys’ Under-16 Championship. This will be followed by the AFF Women’s Championship in October.
Both tournaments will take place following a decision made at a meeting of the AFF Council in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last weekend.
In the Under-16 Championship, Laos is drawn in Group A along with Thailand, Malaysia, Timor Leste and Indonesia. Group B comprises Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The participating teams in the AFF Women’s Championship are Laos, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam.
This year is shaping up to be a busy one for the Lao Football Federation. Not only are they preparing for the Under-16 and Women’s Championships, but they’re also readying the under-19 national side to play at the AFF Under-19 Championship to be hosted by Myanmar from September 1 to 10. Then, in November, the under-23 team will play at the SEA Games in Indonesia.
In the Under-19 Championship, Laos will play in Group B against Indonesia, Vietnam and host Myanmar. Group A comprises Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia.
Lao Football Federation President Mr Viphet Sihachakr said “We will hire a foreign coach for the boys’ under-16 and women’s sides, and player selection for both teams will begin next month.”
“The venues for these championships will be the National Stadium at Km 16 and the Chao Anouvong Stadium in Chanthabouly district, both in Vientiane.”
After cheering on the men’s senior national team to no avail during the qualifying round of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup this month, Lao football fans can now anticipate the possibility of a big win from the under-16 side and the women’s squad.