Former international Khalid Ali is a great supporter of the UKRC International Soccer 9’s tournament which is into its 17th edition this year.
The midfielder, who was guest of honour at the launch of the event, said the tournament helps juniors to witness top-level competition with some of the game’s former greats in action.
“It is a quality tournament as we have some really good players and that makes it a good spectacle.
“The juniors can also see so many top-class foreign teams,” Khalid told the media.
“It helps the young players gain experience by watching teams from many countries and pick up some tips. It is a friendly competition but no one wants to lose as all matches are keenly contested.”
It was a view echoed by organising chairman Andrew Gopal.
“I expect a fierce fight for the title this year as many of the teams have been preparing for the past six to seven months,” said Andrew.
“Four teams will be making their debut and they will be looking to create their own piece of history.”
The four debutants are PJSD (Brunei), Soon Chin, (Melaka), IRC (Negeri Sembilan) and ANF-Diabol (Kuala Lumpur).
They will join 12 other teams – Gold Coast Koalas (Australia), Bintang Timur (Indonesia), Pertamina (Indonesia), ZeeNior (Thailand), Kixx-Sabah Old Boys (Sabah), Penampang Old Boys (Sabah), Penang Sports Club (Penang), HMFC (Johor), Beluga (Kuala Lumpur), Kwang Tung (Kuala Lumpur), Seoul Veterans (Kuala Lumpur) and host UKRC (Kuala Lumpur) – in the two-day tournament.
The UKRC International Soccer 9’s will be held this weekend at Setiawangsa Sports Complex, Section 6, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur.
Two-time defending champion HTC Kuala Lumpur, however, is giving the tournament a miss as it has committed to a competition in New Zealand.