Ninh Thuan to host U21 National football tournament

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The determination of provincial authorities, fans' interest and the desire to promote football in all areas of the country have influenced the choice of Ninh Thuan as the host for the upcoming Under-21 National Football Championship 2012, organizers said at a press meet on Monday.

Nguyen Cong Khe, Chairman of the Thanh Nien Media Corporation, was asked why Ninh Thuan was chosen despite its unimpressive track record in national football.

He responded: "The reason is that we can see the determination of the Party's Committee and the People's Committee of the province and the provincial football fans' interest in the sport.

"Ninh Thuan fans and I myself really expect the province's football team to advance to the semifinals or final, but the U21 contest is fair for everyone. Even if the team is  unsuccessful, they will gain some experience for subsequent contests."

A question was raised about the VND215 million (US$10,300) cash prize for the best player of the tournament. Khe was asked if the prize money would cause some players to be selfish.

Khe said the big cash prize will encourage players to do well and was a good way to find talent for the country. He said the best player must earn the praise of respected football experts and sport journalists, so the best player cannot be one who is selfish but one who supports his teammates and contributes to his team's success.

He thanked Techcombank and the Saigon Beverages Company (Sabeco) for being the diamond and gold sponsors for the event respectively.

Vo Dai, Chairman of the People's Committee of Ninh Thuan, said, the province was honored to host the event which would make it better known nationwide.

Duong Nghiep Khoi, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation, said, "This is the most prestigious event among the country's youth football competitions and has always been a place to find and train young players for the Vietnamese football teams."

Nguyen Dang Thanh, Deputy General Director of Techcombank, said, "We are honored to be the diamond sponsor. Techcombank wants to make a small contribution to the development of Vietnamese football."

Sabeco Director Nguyen Van Thinh said, "Sabeco is pleased to lend a hand to the growth of Vietnamese football. Hopefully, the event in Ninh Thuan will providing interesting fare to football fans in the province and around the country."

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