Fri, 26 Aug 1994

14 teams join junior soccer meet

JAKARTA (JP): The 11th national under-16 soccer championship gets underway in Jakarta's three West Javanese neighboring towns today.

Defending champion Central Java joins the safe Group B with South Sulawesi and Riau in Bekasi. Central Java took top honors at home last year by beating East Java.

The East Javanese team faces a contrasting fate as they have to fight dark-horses North Sumatra, South Kalimantan and South Sumatra in Group D at Bekasi's other stadium.

Another favorite West Java, which is drawn to meet Bengkulu and Aceh in Group A in Cibinong, is expected to follow in the footsteps of its senior team Persib which triumphed in the intercity amateur championship last April.

The Group C played in Bogor pits last year's third winner West Sumatra against Jakarta, Lampung and Bali.

After round-robin matches, the top two teams of each group will qualify for the quarterfinal round. Starting from the semifinals on Sept. 6, the annual championship sponsored by Coca Cola will move to Manado, North Sulawesi. The final will be held on the National Sports Day on Sept. 9 before Vice President Try Sutrisno.

Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Hayono Isman is scheduled to kick off the tournament in Bogor today, where Lampung tackles Jakarta. (amd)