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FIFA to help Myanmar in soccer marketing
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15:15, March 22, 2009

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The world soccer governing body FIFA will help the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) and Myanmar's professional clubs in the soccer marketing development, local media reported on Saturday.

A four-member marketing team from FIFA will arrive here within a few days to give courses to the eight local clubs which will join the forthcoming Myanmar National League (MNL), the Premier Eleven sports journal said.

About half a dozen representatives from the MFF will attend the training course, it said.

Myanmar will hold National League Cup soccer tournament in May, attacting the eight professional clubs, which is the first time for the country to introduce the professional soccer. Five foreign players will be allowed for the first time to join in each team.

The tournament will be held in two zones, upper Myanmar and lower Myanmar, with four local professional clubs in one zone. Matches for the upper Myanmar will feature in central Mandalay and those for the lower Myanmar in former capital of Yangon with home and away system.

Kanbawza FC, Yadanarpon FC, Magway FC and Zeya Shwe Myay FC are in the upper Myanmar zone, while Yangon United FC, Southern Myanmar FC, Okkthar United FC and Delta United FC are in lower Myanmar zone.

The top two teams from the two zones will appear in the semifinals of the Myanmar National League Cup to play home and away basis in Yangon and Mandalay, while the champion of the Cup will be decided in only one match in Yangon.

The points system of the Myanmar National League soccer tournament will also be introduced in January 2010.

"In order to improve the Myanmar soccer standard, it is necessary to make the professional league and Myanmar authorities enhance Myanmar football to be professional," chairman of the MFF U Zaw Zaw said at a press conference early this month.

Initially invested by local entrepreneurs, the eight clubs have been making preparations for MNL from this month to the end of this year and club number will increase to 12 in 2011.

With a glorious history in Asian soccer field, Myanmar's national senior team has won five times of ASEAN champions from 1965 to 1973 and claimed the Asian Games title in 1966 and 1970. The country has 41 soccer teams, 25 ministrial teams and 16 club teams.

Source: Xinhua

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