Women's tourney kicks off next week

The National Women's Football Championship will kick off next Monday in the northern province of Ha Nam.

The annual tournament has attracted six teams, competing in a two-leg round-robin format. The first leg will finish o­n March 26. The second leg will be played from June 9 to 26 in HCM City.

The winners will take home VND80 million (US$4,200). The runners-up will pocket VND60 ($3,100) million and VND30 million (VND1,570) respectively.

Defending champions Ha Noi Trang An 1, formed by a merger of Ha Noi and the former Ha Tay team, are favoured to retain the cup. They have seven players from the national team which won gold in the women's football at the Southeast Asian Games in Laos in December.

However, Ha Noi 1 will miss 2008 Golden Ball winner striker Do Thi Ngoc Cham, out injured until about May.

The opening match of the tournament o­n Monday will be between hosts Phong Phu Ha Nam and Thai Nguyen. The two teams have made little improvement since last year's fifth and sixth ranking. Their game will be aired live o­n VTV3.

Last year's first runner-up Viet Nam Coal and Minerals face HCM City who have recently snagged VND4.5 billion ($235,600) sponsorship.

Ha Noi 1 will meet Ha Noi Trang An 2 today.

Source: Vietnamnews