Indonesia to participate in U21 int'l football contest

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The Football Association of Indonesia (FAI) on Thursday confirmed it will send a team to participate in the 6th edition of the annual Under-21 International Football Tournament in Gia Lai from October 11-21.

It is the first time Indonesia is competing in the football event initiated by Thanh Nien newspaper. It becomes the fifth Southeast Asian team to participate in the contest after Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar.

FAI said it will send the team that finished third in Group E at the U22 Asian Football Confederation Championship qualifier earlier this year. The Indonesian U22s were behind Australia and Japan, and stood above Singapore, Macau and Timor Leste.

FAI wants to take the chance of the U21 International Football Tournament in Vietnam's Central Highlands in October to prepare its young players for the South East Asian Games in Myanmar in 2013. Indonesia beat Vietnam in the semifinals at the South East Asian Games in Jakarta last November.

So far, five international teams from Iraq, Syria, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have confirmed participation in the U21 contest.

If Thailand confirms it will participate in the event, the organizers will arrange for two Vietnamese teams and the competition will have eight teams in total.

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