Ba, Lautoka to clash in opener

BA Veterans will defend the RC Manubhai/Apco Coatings Veterans International Championship that kicks off at Prince Charles Park in Nadi tomorrow.

Last year, Ba Veterans with players such as Jope Lomu, Apimeleki Vunisa, Mosese Valewalu, Jone Sakele Naulu, Tomu Saiwale, Elias Mohammed and Viliame Batidegei defeated New Zealand Lautoka Masters 4-3 in a penalty shootout during the final to lift the title.

Ba Veterans will face Lautoka Masters in its opening match.

There is a change in the format of the tournament this year.

In the past two years the age group category was over 40 years.

However this year, a separate age-group for players over 35 years has been introduced.

The championship’s chairman Jiten Kumar said three international veterans tournaments were approved by the Fiji Football Association, New Zealand Fiji Football Inc and Australia Fiji Football Association this year.

Kumar said five overseas teams would be participating.

“The matches in the 40s category shall be played over 40 minutes with two spells of 20 minutes,” he said.

“The matches in the 35s category shall be played over 50 minutes with two spells of 25 minutes. There will be five minutes break at halftime in both categories.

“The teams have been divided into two pools in each category.”

The overseas teams include New Zealand Cuvu Masters, New Zealand Lautoka Masters, New Zealand Levuka Masters, New Zealand Hamilton and Sydney Savusavu.

The 40s winner will receive $4000 while the runner-up will get $1000. The 35s winner will be awarded $2000 while the runner-up will receive $750.

The semi-finals and finals will be held on Sunday.

Entry to the tournament is free.

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